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Avera foundation looking for 2015 gala theme

After a successful event in February, the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation is eager to have a memorable gala in 2015, but they would like some help.

Tracy Pardy, the foundation's director, said the foundation is welcoming ideas for next year's event and hoping the public can come through with a strong idea. The event in February raised about $90,000, which will be used on state-of-the-art chairs for cancer patients. The chairs give massages and help patients relax. Now, organizers are trying to top February's fundraising efforts. .

"We want to have a classy event but at the same time, we don't want it to be stuffy," Pardy said. "People are coming to have a good time and have fun. We're looking for something that will fit within that."

Starting Monday and going through June 16, the Avera Queen of Peace foundation will be accepting theme ideas for the next gala. From there, the foundation will narrow the field down to three, and the public chooses the winning idea in July through online voting at The Daily Republic's website, The person who creates the idea gets tickets to the gala, scheduled for Jan. 30 at the Highland Conference Center.

The 2014 gala was themed around the book and film "The Great Gatsby," and Pardy said everything from the music to invitations to the food was based on that era.

"Whatever the theme is, we go all out on that," Pardy said. "Everything will be based on the theme."

Ideas can be submitted to the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation office at 525 N. Foster St., Mitchell, S.D., 57301, emailed to or phoned in to 995-5773.

Last year's event included cocktails, a six-course meal, live and silent auctions and a band. More than 300 people participated in the event. She said people have already approached her about ideas for this year's version.

"Our organization exists because of the generosity of others," Pardy said. "We want people to be involved and I think this will be a great way to do that."