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Fire & Ice Experience set for Sept. 28 at The Fireside

Fire & Ice is one of the main fundraisers for the Essentia Health St. Mary’s Foundation. Here, Jeff Leighton stands with some of the silent auction items, a popular part of the annual event. SUBMITTED PHOTO

It’s a cool evening that can really fire you up.

Fire and Ice is right around the corner, and event planners with the Essentia Health St. Mary’s Foundation are ready to deliver.

“We’re expecting over 200 people,” said LeAnn Mouw, the foundation’s director.

The seventh annual fundraiser is set for Saturday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. in The Fireside, Detroit Lakes. The event is a little different than some have come to expect in fundraisers in that there isn’t live entertainment or a formal sit-down dinner, but is set up for a lot of uninterrupted socializing.

“That’s how our board wanted it back when it started; they wanted people to be able to visit, and everybody seems to really like that,” said Mouw. “It gives everybody a chance to talk and meet new people and just socialize.”

The Fire and Ice Experience is known for the many unique hors d’oeuvres that are passed around during the event — delicacies rarely tasted in everyday life.

“There are food stations for sampling, wine and beer tasting and a dessert station with at least two chocolate desserts,” said Mouw, who says attendees can expect to taste food they’ve probably never tasted before.

A silent auction will be set with some significant items to bid on, including a $200 Norby’s gift card with one hour of personal shopping, a one-hour boat cruise for 40 people at Fair Hills, a piece of Pat Shannon artwork and a Vince Camuto purse.

The Lodge on Lake Detroit has also donated a stay in Grand Marais and more.

New this year is something Mouw says they’re calling “A Night at the Nines,” in reference to the new women’s clothing and apparel store in downtown Detroit Lakes called The Nines.

“It’s a wine and cheese event for 10 people at The Nines where people can go in after the store closes and they get to shop at an added discount,” said Mouw, who says she finds the most popular auction items tend to be the ones that give people a unique experience.

There are a couple of hospital personnel who are donating such things as pontoon rides, wine and cheese events and dinners with the idea of bringing people together.

There will also be WE Fest VIP tickets, Vikings tickets and theater tickets up for grabs, as well a get-away, Seven Sisters Spirits Wine of the Month Club and more.

The 30-plus silent auction items join the raffle items, which includes a three-night trip to wine country through Travel Travel of Detroit Lakes.

“And with the purchase of your ticket, you’re automatically entered to win that trip,” said Mouw, “and I’ve hear from more than one person that the reason they’re coming is to win that trip.”

The real reason though, is to raise money for the foundation’s chosen cause, which this year is to relocate the facility’s MRI unit from outside of the emergency room in-house.

“Right now it’s located in a mobile unit, so if you were coming in for an MRI you would be walked or wheeled through a hallway, through the ambulance garage and in a covered walkway,” said Mouw. “And if you’re wheeled, you have to be lifted on a lift, so while the technology is top notch, the experience to get out there is less than desirable.”

Mouw says they hope to better enhance the patient privacy, providing a better experience for them.

In previous years, Fire and Ice has raised money for beds for Oak Crossing residents, equipment for its chemotherapy department, as well as life line units for seniors who want to live on their own longer.

Tickets are $60, and only 250 are being sold.

They are available for purchase by calling Essentia Health St. Mary’s-Detroit Lakes at 218-844-0719 or visiting the gift shop.

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