A downtown Jackson soiree's centerpiece Saturday was raising funds to improve the health care of Mississippi's children while saluting where they call home.
Proceeds from BankPlus' Enchanted Evening, held at the Arts Center of Mississippi, went to Friends of Children's Hospital. The annual event, which has a summery all-white dress code, drew guests to hear live music from the Jackson State University Chorale and the Capitol City Stage Band, enjoy such delicacies as Doe's Eat Place tamales and Redfish Anna from Walker's, and bid on art, luxury items and a football signed by New York Giant and Children's of Mississippi supporter Eli Manning at a select silent auction.
“I'm really excited about tonight,” Friends of Children's Hospital board chair Sara Ray said. “It's the largest fundraiser we host, and the best part is, it's a celebration of Mississippi, too.”
Themed “All Roads Lead to Batson,” the night at the Arts Center of Mississippi showcased the different regions of the state with décor, from oyster shell trees to cotton boll garland, and cuisine, which included Mississippi State University cheese, barbecue, Sanderson Farms chicken and Simmons farm-raised catfish as well as shrimp, oysters and seafood chowder.
David Spurk, a Friends board member, owner of Petal Pushers of Madison and decorator for the annual fundraiser since the late 1990s, said this year's theme “shows how Children's of Mississippi reaches out to all areas of the state with Batson Children's Hospital as well as satellite clinics.”