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Proceeds from Avera gala to benefit community health fund

Guests to the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation Gala should prepare for a Cuban getaway. With a theme of "Havana Nights," the foundation will be hosting its annual gala today at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell. "It's a big year for us," ...

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Guests to the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation Gala should prepare for a Cuban getaway.

With a theme of "Havana Nights," the foundation will be hosting its annual gala today at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell.

"It's a big year for us," said Molly Sutton, director of the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation. "This event has been growing and it has really had a lot of support from the community. We're happy for that."

Friday's event will be the fifth annual gala for the foundation. This year, guests can look forward to an authentic Cuban meal and entertainment to match, Sutton said. All proceeds will be going to the Caring for Life Fund. The fund, according to Sutton, is one of Foundation's areas that is greatest in need.

In the past four years, Sutton said the gala has raised more than $340,000 for community programming and she hopes this year's will be just as successful.

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"This year we're kind of going in a different direction and that's a mark of success of this program and event," Sutton said. "We're now looking at the Caring for Life fund, and a lot of that is programming to keep the community healthy, transportation assistance and community education programs."

Tickets for the 6 p.m. gala are sold out, Sutton said, and a crowd of 240 people is expected to attend.

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