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Gay-Inclusive Palm Beach Church Holds Fundraiser

by Donald Cavanaugh
Sunday Oct 28, 2012

Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches (MCCPB) is holding its 7th annual Denim & Diamonds fundraising fun event on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at the historic Jupiter Civic Center at Carlin Park, 351 Old A1A - right on the ocean. Tickets are $35 (tax deductible) and must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the venue.

"The moon will be just past full," said event coordinator Michelle Sylvester. "People will be able to take romantic strolls along the shore or stay inside and dance to the music provided by DJ Kenny Mondo Productions."

Catering will be by Park Avenue BBQ, who will fire up a portable smoker and offer a range of barbecued meats and more. In addition to ribs, pulled pork and chicken, Sylvester said there will be a selection of vegetarian foods as well. A cash bar will provide libations of all varieties.

"It's a 'come as you are' occasion," said Sylvester. "Wear whatever you like. Cowboy boots and cowboy shirts? Great. Jacket and tie? You're welcome with us."

Denim & Diamonds is a fundraiser for the church and the proceeds are used to support facilities projects like the patio or paving the driveway or painting. The late Michael Trueblood, a long-time supporter of MCCPB, started the fundraiser seven years ago. He held several of the events in his home until the demand exceeded capacity and outside venues were chosen.

"It's a fundraiser for special projects or just upkeep to enable us to do the work we do," said Sylvester. "But just as importantly, it's a time for people to get together and have some fun."

"We're expecting around 125 people," she added. "That's about how many we've had in recent years. We've dropped the admission fee to $35 so people feeling the pinch of the current financial environment might still be able to come. "

Organizers have created the First Annual Denim & Diamond Chili Cook-Off event. Contestants are invited to bring two gallons of their best home-made chili in a crock pot that will be disguised in a variety of ways to prevent contestants from stacking the deck.

According to Sylvester, the pastor's partner, Sarah Helen Land has thrown down the gauntlet declaring her chili 'the best.' 'Not so fast,' say several other registrants who intend to take home the trophy and bragging rights for the year.

An announcement in the church's monthly magazine, Fully Alive, invites attendees to participate in something called the Empty Bowl Project to benefit the church's Bill Meissner Food Pantry.

For more information about the event, to buy tickets or to enter the chili cook-off, call Michelle Sylvester at 561.301.3818.

Remember tickets must be purchased in advance and Sylvester will do her best to help facilitate sales.

Directions to the civic center:

Take I-95 to Jupiter's Indiantown Road exit, go east all the way to A1A and turn right (south), take your first left and follow road to parking area in front of the old Civic Center.

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