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Gift of Life Gala

2019 National Kidney Foundation

Story by Bill Bannister | Photos by Don Perry 

The work of the National Kidney Foundation goes on every day of every year in the Mid-South. Through the tireless efforts of both physicians and volunteers, the mission of preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases and improving the health and well being of those affected by kidney disease is fulfilled by these dedicated individuals. Programs and events held year-round include Kidney Camp, the Kidney Bean 5K, the Chocolate Fantasy, Kidney Cars, KEEP Healthy, Your Kidneys and You, the Kidney Walk and the NKF Konica Minolta Golf Classic. One of the organization’s biggest fundraisers was recently held at The Peabody in the Skyway. 

The 2019 Gift of Life Gala brought together over 200 supporters and guests for a fabulous evening of dining, dancing and honoring those who give so generously of their time, talents and hard work to the National Kidney Foundation. The festivities began with a cocktail reception featuring hors d’oeuvres of tender Southern chicken skewers and mushroom tarts with goat cheese and fresh herbs. These tasty morsels complimented a spread of fresh fruits and cheeses. Guests also enjoyed libations from two fully stocked bars as they began to peruse silent auction items. Treasures up for bids included a wide assortment of fine wines and liquors by Four Roses, Elijah Craig, Ghost River Gold and a bottle of small batch 1792. There were original oil paintings by Julie Hill, gift certificates from Living Health Day Spa and Southern Airways Express, an Oleg Cassini crystal dice paperweight, balcony seats for “Anastasia” at The Orpheum, a signed baseball by former Cardinal pitcher Jason Motte, and a 1960s era microphone used by CBS to broadcast the Danny Thomas Classic Golf Tournament.

The Peabody’s rooftop was open for guests to take in a breathtaking sunset on the river before settling in for the official introductions by Gala Chair Susan O. Smith. Dinner began with a fresh hearts of Romaine salad, merlot poached pear, whipped fromage blanc, spiced pecans, Peruvian pepper and white balsamic vinaigrette. The evening’s duo entrée was a tender filet mignon with seared salmon, risotto cake and lemon asparagus in a roasted shallot cream sauce, followed by a mouth-watering dessert duo of Fresh Opera and Strawberry Pistachio Cakes. After the recognition of honorees, guests danced to the sounds of Funkytown. 

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