Red Tie Gala

Written by Wicker Van Orsdel

There’s never a bad time to wear a red tie. Ask anyone. They’ll confirm it. And seeing as that’s the case, give it up for The 14th Annual Red Tie Gala for the Des Moines Ronald McDonald House. This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending this spectacular charity fundraiser. As guests made their debut in front of the paparazzi on the red carpet, they were encouraged to show off their best red and black wardrobe, mix and mingle and bid in their fine attire. Luckily, I wore a black tux with a red tie to match the invite because I would have had a hard time finding a red dress to top the beautiful decked-out divas at this event.

Families from throughout the state come to Iowa Methodist Medical Center’s campus seeking life-saving treatment for their critically ill children. Often, they come exhausted, scared and financially drained as they struggle to pay overwhelming medical bills. Ronald McDonald House creates a “home away from home” while their children receive medical treatment so they can concentrate on what is most important—their critically ill children. The generosity of those who attend this event helps that happen.

It was truly an elegant evening hosted in the modern, state-of-the-art atmosphere of the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (Veterans Auditorium) ballroom. There was red. Everywhere. This venue is so fabulous—they can make the ceiling lights any color, and the  cheery-cherry red, of course, was very dramatic. Along with the splendid cardinal décor, the opulent silent auction items were enticingly displayed. I’ve been to my share of auctions, and it was very impressive. Brenda Miller, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House, said this was their best year ever. There were tables and tables lined with packages for anything and everything. Wine. Spas. Golf. Trips to the mountains or the beach. Seats to sporting events. A night out with Cher—it was all there if you needed it.It was also there if you didn’t need it. But you did. So that worked out. The bidding was made convenient by a unique online system that enabled you to bid through your smarter-than-you phone without leaving your seat. All so cutting-edge! A nice young man named Aaron helped Luddites like me figure out the system (for you know, there is no fame in not placing a winning bid).

Emcee Jackie Schmillen and auctioneer Rick Herman were two great picks for their tasks. They were both firing on all of their sparkplugs. which made for a fun upbeat evening. Well done. committee!

I enjoyed a delicious dinner in the company of Brenda Miller and Steve Walterman, and afterwards, we enjoyed the entertainment of The Pianopalooza Band. This band can take your favorite songs to the next level; they were an absolute riot that amazed the crowd with their talent. It was a well-done, beautiful evening for a very worthy cause, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have been a part of it. Assuming you’ve got the red dress or tie (as they know how to do the rest), see you at next year’s Red Tie Gala. You. Me. Ronald. Big Time!

Click on link below to check out the fun photos from this event!!i=2916519289&k=8s7CPRT

Jackie Schmillen, "Great Day Host " on KCWI 23, was the emcee.
Jackie Schmillen, “Great Day Host ” on KCWI 23, was the emcee.
A family who has benefited from Ronald McDonald House: Cora and Scott Lahr with  their sons. The family is from Lake View, Iowa.
A family who has benefited from Ronald McDonald House: Cora and Scott Lahr with their sons. The family is from Lake View, Iowa.
Wicker with Ronald McDonald.
Wicker with Ronald McDonald.

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