Mardi Gras benefit to help raise needed funds for the Red Cross

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - The month of February saw a dramatic increase in disasters, with five shelters and significant aid distributed by the Aiken Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. With Aiken County receiving the brunt of February's Ice Storm and a colder than average winter, the Red Cross in Aiken has provided extensive services from fires to shelters in order to aid to Aiken County residents.

"The Red Cross has been very active in Aiken this year with March continuing the trend. The need for funding is larger than it has ever been due to the emergency aid provided to our neighbors," said Aiken Area Chapter Executive Director Derek Dugan. "The timing of the Mardi Gras benefit by The Smith Group could not be better. We appreciate everything they are doing to help the Red Cross and we have really enjoyed our partnership."

The Mardi Gras benefit will provide a night of food, fun and revelry at the Smith Group's 12th Annual Mardi Gras Party. The event will be held Friday, March 7 from 6-10:30 p.m. at Newberry Hall located 117 Newberry Street SW in Aiken. Tickets are $50 per person, available at the door, and feature a New Orleans atmosphere complete with an all-you-can-eat Cajun appetizers, buffet, desserts, beer, wine and Hurricanes. Live music will be provided by the "Palmetto Groove Band." All proceeds benefit the Red Cross in Aiken.

"We have received a few donations by people who cannot attend but wish to help the Red Cross replenish funds depleted this winter," said Dugan. "I hope that anyone who cannot attend will consider a contribution as we need their support now more than ever."

Tickets can be purchased at the door or tickets or reserved tables can be purchased by calling call Kari Cheeseman with the Red Cross at 803-641-4152 or . Donations can be made through or by mailing a check to the American Red Cross 1314 Pine Log Road Aiken, SC 29803.

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