Monday, December 20, 2010

Rotary Club of GR To Host "Rat Pack" New Year's Eve Benefit Gala

What happens in DeVos Performance Hall, stays in DeVos Performance Hall.

At least that’s what the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids anticipates with its Dec. 31 Vegas-inspired fundraising event, “A Rat Pack New Year’s Eve.” Sponsored in part by Meijer and Citadel Broadcasting, the annual New Year’s Eve Benefit Gala will feature a special concert by the Grand Rapids Symphony in conjunction with a themed cocktail hour and gourmet dinner.

Cocktails and swing music will kick off the evening at 5:30 p.m. in the Monroe Ballroom with a Charity Mixer and dinner provided by the 1913 Grill. Starting at 7:30 p.m. the Rat Pack is back, accompanied by the sizzling stylings of the Grand Rapids Symphony under the direction of John Varineau in DeVos Performance Hall. Guests will seriously dig on this extravaganza starring Stephen Bogardus as “Frank,” James Clow as “Dean” and Alonzo Saunders as “Sammy,” each appearing direct from Broadway, in a special concert called “A Rat Pack New Year’s Eve.”

Proceeds from this event benefit two longstanding Rotary programs: STRIVE, a mentorship program for at-risk high school seniors, and Indian Trails Camp, a summer camp for disabled individuals of all ages. The gala has raised over $260,000 every year for the past ten years. This year, Rotary is extending the festivities to benefit underserved seniors from Clark Retirement Community and at-risk youth from St. Johns Home. For every donation of $25 or more, Rotary will send one senior or youth to “A Rat Pack New Year’s Eve” symphony concert. Those interested in sponsoring a concertgoer can email Coleen Downey at

Dinner tickets are priced at $50 per person and concert tickets range from $18 to $90 per person. Tickets for both portions of the event can be purchased online at For more information, visit or call (616) 459-5640