by Bob Keith

Early in December, The Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce held the 22nd Christmas Gala. This is an annual event that is so well received that the organizers have to turn people away. Close to 200 area residents turned out dressed “to the nines” in their finest Christmas attire for this festive event. In recent years the Lake lure Inn has hosted the occasion and provided an assortment of tasty hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a scrumptious plated meal.

The evening is a fundraiser for the Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber and featured a raffle ticket drawing for a $1500 shopping spree, another raffle drawing for a “Booze Wagon” estimated well over $500, a silent auction of a variety of wonderful items donated by Chamber members and a live auction for dinners, retreats, excursions and, as always, of course, Steve Gale’s secret mystery box. 

Patrick Bryant, our new town Commissioner, former Chamber President, and Lake Lure Inn Hotel Ambassador, presided over the raffle drawings and the live auction. Some of the notable prizes were won by Meredith Kelly (Aileen and Doug’s daughter) of the $1500 shopping spree, the “Booze Wagon” by Dru Buesing, a dinner specially prepared by Chef Ron for 16 people at the Old Rock Cafe by Patti Stewart, a surf and turf dinner for 8 at the Garden Cafe by April Shick, a dinner for 6 people at the Tanner’s home prepared by our two new Lauras, Krejci and Doster and a weekend retreat at one of the beautiful rental homes at nearby Bright’s Creek CC by DeDe Bird.

The Chamber thanks Mary Jaeger-Gale for her leadership over the many years and her 2019 team of volunteers in putting the Gala together.  Chamber Executive Director Laura Doster expressed, “our Annual Gala was a HUGE SUCCESS!!  We surpassed all previous years!  A big THANK YOU to all our sponsors, the 62 organizations and individuals that donated auction items, to our faithful attendees who come back year after year, to the Lake Lure Inn for providing the location, food and support staff, and to our amazing Gala Committee – this would not happen without you”. It’s arguably the premier social event of the year in the Gorge. Mark your 2020 calendars and don’t miss it next year!

Sponsors for the event were Lifestyle Properties, Point Lookout Vineyards, US Foods, Beverly Hanks, Chimney Rock Park, Northland Cable, Carolina Trust Bank, DK Professionals Realty & Mountain Brook Vineyards.