MSEF's signature fundraiser to feature a variety of auction items on Oct. 13

A dinner for 12 at Cafe Maddalena's in Dunsmuir is one of the many auction items that will be sold to the highest bidder during Mt. Shasta Education Foundation's 16th Starlight Gala, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13.

Beginning at 6 p.m., Gala-goers will be treated to an elegant evening filled with tuxedoed emcees, a no-host bar, plentiful hors d'oevres, more than 200 silent, dessert and live auctions, and a performance by the Mount Shasta High School Jazz Choir. Proceeds from the MSEF's biggest fundraiser of the year, which took a one year hiatus in 2011, go to supplement the tight budgets of Mount Shasta schools.

"This year's Starlight Gala focuses on auctioning special experiences, things that you won't often find at other auctions," said Lori Harch, MSEF president. "Some of these items will sell for a fraction of their worth, which is a sort of 'win' for the bidder. But more importantly, the students of Mount Shasta will win with each and every auction purchase, because all of the money raised at the Gala will go toward providing our students with the best educational experiences possible."

Harch said MSEF wants to help Mount Shasta schools "reach beyond providing the educational basics, so that each student is exposed to great science experiments, opportunities to perform in music and drama, creative learning modalities like Smart Boards and computers, and many other things that make learning relevant and exciting."

Auction items

Some auction items this year include:

• Dinner for 12 at Café Maddalena: Chef Brett LaMott, owner of Cafe Maddalena, will design a menu for 12, with multiple courses and specially selected wines. The dinner will take place on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evening, when the restaurant is closed to everyone else.

• Ski Passes: Two adult season passes at Mt. Shasta Ski Park for the 2012-2013 season.

• Garden Consultation and Picnic Table: Earth-conscious horticulture specialists from Gaia Gardenscapes will provide 1-hour organic, non-chemical garden design consultation for your Mt. Shasta garden as well as 50 gallons of compost tea for maximal beneficial results. Enjoy looking at your garden from Siskiyou Opportunity Center's rustic 6-ft picnic table with attached benches, made from Port Orford Cedar.

• Brookings Vacation: Enjoy a three-night vacation at this beachfront condo on semi-private, 13-acre beach owned by the 60-unit condo association. Two bedrooms, two bath, max of four people. No smoking, no pets. Cleaning fee included in this offer.

• Mountain Bike Tour: Long-time mountain bike enthusiast and trail builder Mike Paddock shares his extensive knowledge of local trails, while Maria Ribera prepares a delicious picnic lunch. For two people, providing their own bikes.

• Sunset Dinner Cruise: Enjoy watching the sun set over Lake Siskiyou aboard the Copper's 20-foot party barge. Dick will captain with Chef Cindy provides cocktails and dinner for four.

• Expert-Guided Panther Meadows Tour: Spend a day visiting Panther Meadows with Historian/Author Michael Zanger and Botanist/Instructor Ken Goehring. Topics will include local legends, Mt Shasta history, plant and animal life, wildflower identification, and little- known stories of the mountain. Includes a 3-course gourmet picnic prepared by Chefs Jane Cohn and Jan Schrag, featuring cuisine prepared with love and local organic food.

• Overnight in Ashland: Stay at Ashland's favorite family inn, Oak Street Cottages, located just one block from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theaters and Lithia Park. Each cottage has its own full kitchen, cozy living room, and color TV. Cottages sleep 6-11.Two tickets good for Sunday evening show through 2012 ("Song and Dance" 9/7-11/4; "Winter Wonderettes" 11/6-12/30/12). Eat out with this $50 gift card for Dragonfly Cafe and Gardens (located just below the Oregon Cabaret Theatre), serving dinner, lunch, and breakfast. Relax with a Garden Soak for two at Chozu Bath & Tea Gardens.

Numerous local experiences will also be auctioned. Lake Siskiyou Campgrounds is providing a two-night stay in a lakeside cabin (4 people) and two-hour patio boat rental at Lake Siskiyou. Other local experiences include private yoga and Pilates instruction, massages, facials, spa packages, manicures, haircuts, and auto repair.

Of course, we will also have such well-loved items as a chair from Ron's Furniture, a bike from The Fifth Season and Doris Moss Realty, jewelry from Exquisite Jewelry, artwork from local artists (Janet Tarjan Erl, Karrie Ann Snure, Jan Sousa, Carol Wilder, and others) and many additional items (more than 200 in all).

For a full listing of all auction items up for grabs, go to ourmsef.org

Tickets

Tickets are available for purchase at Doris Moss Realty, The Fifth Season, Sisson, Mount Shasta Elementary School, or by calling Harch at 926-1001.

The price is $35 in advance, or $40 at the door at the Mount Shasta Community Building, 629 Alder. Dress is elegant cocktail attire.

Tickets are limited and Harch suggests if you want to attend, purchase them early.