Annual Red Tie Affair returns to Dewitt

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Attendees of last year's Red Tie Affair gathering at the Banquet and Conference Center of Dewitt. Courtesy of Loretta Spinrad.

Attendees of last year's Red Tie Affair gathering at the Banquet and Conference Center of Dewitt. Courtesy of Loretta Spinrad.

The Red Tie Affair hosted by the Dewitt Area Chamber of Commerce was a night full of entertainment and an opportunity to give back to the community.

The Feb. 11 event at the Banquet and Conference Center of Dewitt raised money for a number of scholarships benefitting Clinton County graduating seniors and their future careers.

The event was semiformal with red attire encouraged in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Tickets were $50, which included a prime rib and chicken buffet, entertainment by the Midwest Dueling Pianos and a silent auction.

Local business owners contributed different items to the auction with the proceeds going towards the scholarships.

One of the displays for the silent auction at the 2016 Red Tie Affair. Courtesy of Kathy Valentine.

One of the displays for the silent auction at the 2016 Red Tie Affair. Photo courtesy of Kathy Valentine.

Loretta Spinrad, the president of the Dewitt Area Chamber of Commerce, chairs the event.

“It provides a nice venue for people to enjoy a nice dinner and entertainment while supporting our scholarship fund,” said Spinrad.

Last year the chamber awarded three $1,000 scholarships for graduates entering electrical technological programs and hopes to increase the number awarded this year.

In addition to these scholarships, there were new scholarships available for students entering the medical services field.

The multiple businesses that sponsored the event played a major role in the success of the event.

“We are grateful for the main sponsors of this event, their commitment makes it possible for us to the host the event and provide the scholarships,” said Spinrad.

One sponsor was the Plant Professionals, a locally owned business in Dewitt, who committed to four tickets as well as providing the décor for the event.

Plant Professionals owner Kathy Valentine is on the membership committee for the chamber of commerce. 

“I got involved because I really felt like the Dewitt area has a lot of unique offerings like many communities do and that it was important to let people that live in the area know the strengths that the area has to offer,” said Valentine.

Valentine sees the sponsorship as a great way to provide financial assistance to students in Clinton County.

“We want to make sure that young people have that little leg up and a little more financial help because college is so expensive,” she said. “If you can help somebody with $1,000 that helps even if all it does is buy books.”

Joni Preston, a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Dewitt, planned on attending the event and sees it as an opportunity to get a night out and give back.

“It’s a fun night out. You get a nice dinner. It’s a $50 ticket but you’d spend $50 on a prime rib dinner anywhere you go,” said Preston. “You get to meet some nice folks and socialize with other business owners as well and then the silent auction gives an opportunity to give back to the community.”