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Ranch Community Fund plans interactive dinner

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  • | 4:00 a.m. June 17, 2009
  • East County
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — If you’ve ever wanted to cook a gourmet meal and didn’t know where to start, a local charity is giving you a chance to make culinary perfection without the hassle of finding a recipe.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund is holding a Tahitian Adventure Interactive Dinner at 7 p.m., June 26, at the Fête Ballroom at Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch.

Attendees not only will get a fun evening out with friends and a lesson in cooking, but also they will enjoy a three-course dinner with recipes, wine paired with each course, a full bar with theme cocktails and an apron. Cost is $100 per person.

As part of the dinner, guests will select two people from their table to act as “chefs” for each of the courses. Those individuals will follow the instruction of Polo Grill owner and chef Tommy Klauber, using pre-measured ingredients to create a culinary masterpiece for everyone at their table.

“Tommy is brilliant in front of the crowd,” said his wife, Jaymie Klauber, one of the organizers for the event. “It’s more fun than (you can imagine).”

At the upcoming Community Fund event, local comedian and talk show host Tim Wilkins will add a dash of laughter to the mix as he joins Tommy Klauber on stage for the cooking demonstration.

“(The dinner is) just another way we thought we could (tell) the community about the good work the Community Fund is doing,” event chairperson Lydia Kolbas said. “With the economy the way it is and people being in the doldrums, we said, ‘Let’s do something new.’”

Because sponsors have not been able to give as much financially this year, the Community Fund has been planning events in addition to its annual gala, which was held March 14 at The Grand Clubhouse at The Lake Club.

The interactive dinner is the first major event designed to incorporate the Community Fund’s strategic goal of increasing resident participation in the Fund’s efforts, Kolbas said.

Business sponsorships are still available. For a $1,600 community sponsorship, businesses can reserve a table of eight and have their company name put on the apron that goes home with attendees.

In total, the Community Fund hopes to raise $20,000 through the event, she said.

“I’m hoping it will be successful,” Kolbas said, noting she’d like to do the event again next year. “I know it’ll be fun.”

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund is a donor advised fund of the Manatee Community Foundation that raises money to distribute to local charities. For more information about the fund, visit its Web site at

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

Tahitian Adventure Interactive Dinner

WHEN: 7 p.m., June 26
WHERE: Fête Ballroom at Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch
COST: $100 per person
BENEFICIARY: The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund



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