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Speak Easy to host Emmanuel's 'Sapphire Evening'

The Emmanuel Foundation is in need of the community's help for its upcoming charity benefit, set for Friday, Jan. 29 at the Speak Easy in Detroit Lakes.

The annual event, featuring a new theme every year, will be a "Sapphire Evening" this year. It begins at 5:30 p.m.

Sandy Lia, Life fund development coordinator for Emmanuel Community, said the theme is based on Emmanuel's 45th anniversary, with sapphire being that year's anniversary stone.

The charity event is Emmanuel's major fundraiser of the year, Lia said. "It is the only one," she added.

The early start is new this year, Lia said. She said that starting at 5:30 makes it easier for people who need to go home a little early.

Proceeds go toward supporting Emmanuel's mission to enhance resident services.

That could mean purchasing equipment or using the funds for other needs.

"We are in this for a great time, but our goal is to hopefully raise funds so that we are able to provide quality and care for all of the residents throughout our campus," Lia said.

Lia said that sponsorships are still available.

Sponsorships are offered on several levels, starting with bronze at $300 that includes two tickets, silver at $500 that includes four tickets, gold at $1,000 that includes six tickets and platinum at $2,500 that includes eight reserved seats.

A new sponsorship level debuts this year with the sapphire sponsorship with 12 reserved seats, a signature drink and two wall of wine raffle tickets.

"Our goal is to get one sapphire sponsor this year," Lia said.

Michael Mercil of the Speak Easy is concocting a special that will be sapphire in color, Lia said.

"I don't know if it's going to be a martini, but it will be blue liquor," Lia said.

Individual tickets are $45 that includes a $5 Heads and Tails game ticket. Reserved tables for eight are $300.

Tickets include dinner.

"Once again they will get a fabulous meal prepared by Michael (Mercil) and his crew," Lia said.

The Front Fenders are providing the music, with a four-hour set planned. Music starts at 8 p.m.

"People start dancing right away, and they can stay as long as they'd like," Lia said.

A silent auction will take place, as well as the wall of wine contest. The winner takes home 45 bottles of wine, with two other prizes of five and four bottles serving as consolation prizes.

"It's been something fun for people to enjoy," Lia said, adding that there should be a variety of wine in the wall that everyone will enjoy.

Regional businesses and individuals donate for the silent auction.

Lia said last year's turnout was great, creating a welcome bit of stress in the run-up to the dinner.

"People were calling for tickets and we were trying to scurry around to get more tickets," she said.

Those looking to come again this year should plan on buying tickets early.

"We are trying to get the word out to get your tickets as soon as you can," Lia said.

Word-of-mouth attention helped spark the popularity of the dinner.

Lia said the Emmanuel Community team helps out tremendously, making sure the benefit goes off without a hitch.

Tickets are available by calling 847-4486.

"Once they've been there, they've come back," Lia said, while also encouraging newcomers.

More information on Emmanuel Community is on the Web at