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"Come Sail Away" to be Avera gala theme

The Avera Queen of Peace Foundation has decided on the theme "Come Sail Away" for its 2015 gala.

The gala, which will be held for the second time, will be held Jan. 30 at the Highland Conference Center.

The 2014 gala was built around a Great Gatsby theme and raised about $90,000 for the Avera Queen of Peace hospital, most of which was directed toward new chairs at the Avera Cancer Institute in Mitchell. Everything from the music, food and table settings will be built around the theme.

Tracy Pardy, director of the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation, said there were about 20 entries for gala ideas. That was trimmed down to three finalists, which were then posted on The Daily Republic's website,, for a public vote. Pardy said the final margin was close, with "Come Sail Away" edging "Back to the 50s" and "Passport to Paris."

"We had a great response and it was fun to get some feedback from the public on what they would like to see," Pardy said. "We'll take the theme and see what we can turn it into for the event."

The winning idea came from Kim Lorenzen, of Mitchell, who will receive two tickets to next year's event as a reward. Last year's event drew more than 300 people and included cocktails, a six-course meal, live and silent auctions and a band.

Pardy said there are a few directions the board is considering within the sailing theme and the foundation board will finalize more details next week when they have a regular meeting, she said.