Holiday Hope fundraiser is Thursday

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ST. CROIX - Crucians will get a chance to party with a purpose at the seventh annual Holiday Hope Benefit on Thursday at the Palms at Pelican Cove.

Hosted by the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association and the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature food, cocktails, silent and live auctions and a performance by John Eddie and Jazzy Blue.

Julie Printy, president of the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association, said the proceeds from the event will go to the Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Boys and Girls Clubs on St. Croix and the Richard Patrick Henry Hospitality Scholarship Fund.

"This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and our main goal is just to raise enough money to give significantly to these three worthy organizations and continue what we have been doing by giving away more than 1,000 toys to children on the island who are without," Printy said.

In past years, the event has brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organizations and Christmas toys for the young children who benefit. In 2009, the fundraiser added the scholarship fund, which is named in honor of the long-time Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort general manager, who also ran the island's hotel and tourism association. The scholarship benefits young people seeking a career in the hospitality industry and was started shortly after Henry died in 2008.

Printy said that despite a weak economy, they are hoping that the community still will see the need to support the cause and use the event to get some relaxation and socializing before the height of the hectic season.

"There will be lots to eat and drink and great music to enjoy, so we really hope to see everyone supporting the cause and having fun," she said.

The Holiday Hope live auction begins about 8 p.m. and will be hosted by Kathleen McManus. It follows a silent auction from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Auction items include trips, jewelry, artwork, dinners, lunches, furniture, clothing, grocery packages, literature, wellness services, hotel stays and airline flights.

Admission to the event is $40 or two new unwrapped toys valued at $20 each that would be suitable for a child between the ages of 11 and 17.

Dress for the event is cocktail or holiday attire.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

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