By Samuel Cicci On Thursday, The Columns at One Commerce Square played host to Monogram Loves Kids Foundation’s 4th Annual Meat Me in Memphis Charity Gala. With over 400 people in attendance, the gala proved to be a smashing success for philanthropy.

The event was in high demand, with the entrance line beginning as soon as the elevator doors opened and snaking through a large room before stopping at the check in table. Guests were lucky enough to receive complimentary parking, making the downtown trip much less of a hassle for everyone who’d spent their hard-earned money to support a great cause.

Past the check-in table, guests walked past large rows of tables and chairs to see a giant stage surrounded by booths. While the band set up, several notable restaurants and catering companies put out displays and small plates of food. De JaVu and Erling Jensen doled out samples, while services like Paradox Catering and Phillip Ashley chocolates provided something different to try. All in all, the event provided a wide variety of Memphis cuisine.

An exciting feature of the Meat Me in Memphis Gala was the silent auction. Several rows of tables lined up next to each other bearing a plethora of Memphis and foreign products. Bass Pro Shop donated several gift baskets, Community Coffee gave away large variety packs of their brand, and several local restaurants, like Gus’ Fried Chicken, offered gift cards. Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, and the rest of the Memphis Grizzlies signed basketballs that were auctioned off to eager sports fans, while a rare version of Kanye West’s Nike basketball shoes went to one very happy customer. On the more upscale side of things, several date night packages for downtown Memphis were offered, along with various paintings and photographs. The biggest catch, and Monogram Loves Kids’ prized offering, was a short stay at a riverside house in Florence, Italy. If that doesn’t convince to purchase a ticket for next year, I don’t know what will.

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Even more impressive than the complimentary bar was the evening’s entertainment. I had never before seen a show by the University of Memphis’ Sound Fuzion group, but they were on key for the entire performance. Boasting five male vocalists and four female vocalists backed by a full band, the group played a wide range of hits from recent years and kept the crowd demanding more for the entirety of their performance. The entire group was clearly fully committed and enjoyed what they were doing; I highly recommend catching one of their performances around town, time permitting.

Monogram Loves Kids Foundation put on yet another great event; early on in the evening, the head numbered over 400 guests who had been checked in. With 90% of the proceeds going directly to children, the gala proved to be a success. Be sure to pick up a ticket for next year if you’re looking for a fun way to support the local community.

Learn More and Support the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation

Make a donation today by email to bjackson@monogramfoods.com. You are welcome to mail checks payable to Monogram Loves Kids Foundation to 530 Oak Court Drive, Suite 400, Memphis, Tennessee  38117.