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Red Shoe Gala

Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger  | Photos by Don Perry

Approximately 400 guests turned out for The Red Shoe Gala benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis (RMHC). This chic affair had people kicking up their heels in black tie attire and their choice of red footwear. The gala, held at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms, was presented by McDonald’s/Century Management.

The evening began with a cocktail hour and fashion showcase sponsored by Laurelwood Shopping Center. Male and female “freeze models” were attired in fashions  for the coming warmer weather from stores in the East Memphis shopping mecca. Paradox Catering prepared the meal for the event, starting off with fresh green salad. A dual entree included New York strip steak and oven-roasted salmon, with smoked squash and asparagus. Dinner music was provided by McKenna Bray (vocalist) and Susan Marshall (keyboardist).

During the evening, guest speaker Brittany Hebert, founder and CEO of Sky High, spoke about her organization’s commitment to “providing comfort, funding research and saving lives of children fighting pediatric cancer and other life-threatening conditions.” Since 2007, Sky High has donated over $6 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Guests were invited to support those families fighting alongside their children at St. Jude by making donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis.

Jeff Morris served as auctioneer for the live auction portion of the event. One of the live auction items was a unique Paradox Underground Experience. This exclusive dining experience offered the high bidder and 11 guests a sort of culinary speakeasy opportunity — a five-course meal with libations prepared by Jimmy Gentry and his Paradox team in an obscure location around town. Other live auction items included floor seats to a Justin Timberlake concert, a ruby and diamond bracelet from Sissy’s Log Cabin, and trips to Las Vegas, Blue Mountain Beach and Park City, Utah. Morris also announced that in support for RMHC, Renasant Bank donated a new car for use by the RMHC staff to assist families. The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis is to provide support services and a “home-away-from-home” for St. Jude families and their children receiving treatment, at no cost, for cancer and other catastrophic childhood illnesses.

After the live auction, guests were invited to “step out in their red shoes” to the dance tent. The DMP Band, with band members decked out in red sequined jackets, provided the evening’s musical entertainment. 

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