Epicurean adventure, à la Guy Fieri, awaits at Saint Martin’s Marcus Pavilion

Guests to raise forks, wine glasses and auction paddles at Saint Martin’s Gala

October 30, 2012

As Saint Martin’s University prepares to roll out the red carpet for celebrity chef Guy Fieri, it also is readying the auction block for an impressive line-up of live auction items — all in anticipation of this Saturday’s black-tie Gala in Marcus Pavilion.

A crowd of more than 550 will gather at Charneski Recreation Center and Marcus Pavilion on Nov. 3 for the University’s seventh annual Gala. Guests will indulge in five courses selected and prepared especially for the event by Fieri. And, with each course, guests will have the opportunity to bid on several unique epicurean-themed auction items, including: a private “Chef’s Table” experience provided by acclaimed culinary artists Ethan Stowell, Brendan McGill and Bob Prince; a private dinner prepared by two of Saint Martin’s beloved monks; an elaborate progressive dinner at Tom Douglas restaurants in Seattle; and a getaway to Guy Fieri’s personal vineyard in Sonoma County, California.

The formal affair benefiting student scholarship funds gets underway at 7 p.m., with a pre-event reception in Charneski Recreation Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Headlining the celebration will be the high-energy Fieri, restaurateur and host of The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, who will entertain the crowd from the on-stage Viking kitchen. His gourmet dinner will be accompanied by specially selected wine and an exciting live auction, which has garnered recent attention for its high-profile items.

Hosting the Gala is a campus-wide effort for the Saint Martin’s community, requiring the efforts of more than 150 volunteers — most of them Saint Martin’s students. Among the many volunteer responsibilities this year: social media coverage. A group of students will be providing live updates from the Gala festivities on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtags #SMUGala and #GuyFieri; guests are invited to contribute their own updates throughout the evening.

“The students enjoy this celebration, but they also take it very seriously,” explains Jonathan Hew Len, a graduate student at Saint Martin’s, who last year addressed the crowd before the record-setting Feed-A-Mind paddle-raise for student scholarships. “They understand the power of the Gala, and recognize that it is the guests’ generosity that directly supports their pursuit of a Saint Martin’s education.”

Adds Hew Len, “For the student volunteers, this is an opportunity to not only give back, but to showcase some of our core values at Saint Martin’s University: hospitality, community and stewardship.”

Last year’s Gala, which featured chef Mario Batali, was an unprecedented success for the University. It brought in more than $600,000, generating in excess of $150,000 alone from the paddle-raise.

This year, the Gala sold out in less than an hour.

Meet the Chef, a separate ticketed event with Fieri, takes place at the “new” Cebula Hall on the University’s Lacey campus from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The 2012 Gala co-chairs are Armandino ’59 and Marilyn Batali (parents of Mario Batali) and Dick ’64 and Karen Roney.

Guy Fieri will be on the Lacey campus of Saint Martin’s University for Meet the Chef, 4-5:30 p.m., and the Saint Martin’s Gala, 7 p.m. Media interested in attending Meet the Chef or the Gala should contact Jennifer Fellinger at 360-438-4332, 360-200-9265 or jfellinger@stmartin.edu no later than Friday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

For additional information:

Jennifer Fellinger
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University
360-438-4332 / 360-200-9265; jfellinger@stmartin.edu