Benefit served with Southern flavor

Benefit served with Southern flavor
Beginning at 5 p.m. Sept. 27, the city's Main Street began its transformation for its Downtown After Dark celebration.

Live jazz music received an extra jolt as it echoed off the brick walls of Main Street's buildings.

"We were very pleased with the event. It was a beautiful evening and it was great to feel the energy throughout the streets downtown," said Lisa Ketcham, executive director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce. "When a tragic event like Hurricane Katrina happens, many of us want to do something but feel somewhat helpless in how we can offer our assistance. This event gave all of us an opportunity to help those in need." Downtown After Dark, sponsored by the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company and area merchants, brought hundreds of people together for an evening of New Orleans style jazz music. Citizens experienced art sales, and the entertainment of clowns and jugglers. They donned Mardi Gras masks and beads, and dined on great Cajun food such as jambalaya, catfish, hush puppies, pralines and dirty rice.

Providing live entertainment at the event were the Heart and Soul Jazz Dancers, Gavin Adams, the U Jazz Quintet and Mark Winegar & Friends.

"It's great when a community comes together to show their support. We would like to thank everyone who worked on this event to help make it possible, including the many volunteers who shared their talents, those who attended and supported the merchants and vendors who donated their proceeds, the raffle sponsors and those who purchased tickets, and those who made a financial contribution directly to the Red Cross," Ketcham said. "Over $2,000 was raised from the event and donations are still coming in. Every contribution counts and we truly appreciate each and every form of participation."

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