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Titus County Judge Brian Lee and wife Judy were among the evening's attendees.

Click here to visit photo gallery from Champagne & Chocolate event.

Champagne & Chocolate gala raises more than $16,000 for TRMF

Palate-pleasing French champagnes, decadently rich chocolates and elegant western ambience combined to make the 2011 Champagne & Chocolate “Denim & Diamonds” event the place to be.

The 2nd annual fundraiser was held Saturday, June 11, raising more than $16,500 for the Titus Regional Medical Foundation, including $2,000 in donations from those who could not attend.

The festive social gathering generates funding through ticket sales and sponsorships. The 2011 “Diamond” sponsors, each contributing $3,500, were Guaranty Bond Bank, McKelvey Enterprises and Pilgrim Bank. These businesses also sponsored the inaugural event in 2009 at the same level.

“The majority of the money we raise comes from our sponsors and we are so appreciative of their generous spirit in continuing to support us through this event,” said Gordon Hall, the Foundation’s executive director. “We plan to host the event each year and hope to expand the list of major contributors next year.”

Hall said the proceeds from the fundraiser will be allocated for the Foundation’s endowment and other Foundation initiatives to continue to help improve services and facilities at Titus Regional Medical Center.

The venue, The Pavilion, a 2,000 square-foot facility decked in luxurious western décor and graciously provided by Big Tex Trailers and Kelly & Ricky Baker, was the perfect backdrop for the evening. In keeping with the “Denim & Diamonds” theme, guests arrived dressed in everything from elegant After Five attire to starched jeans and boots to sparkling jewel-studded jackets and belts.

Guests were served champagne with flair by Chef Joe Greenland, TRMC’s nutritional services director, who donned his white chef coat and hat for the occasion.

They also sampled mouth-watering displays of handmade gourmet chocolates from Sweet Shop USA. The chocolatier, based in Mount Pleasant, also offered an impressive chocolate dipping station that gave guests the opportunity to watch the delectable chocolate confection-making in person.

“We are grateful for the generosity afforded by Big Tex, Kelly and Ricky Baker and Sweet Shop USA to in partnering with us to make this event possible,” Hall said. “This is a unique event that is growing in popularity and serves as an important fundraiser for the Foundation.”

The TRM Foundation would also like to express a special thank you to the 2011 Champagne & Chocolate Committee, Foundation board members Amy Jones, Beverly Kelley, Gary Elliott, Lonnie Smith and Krisan Norris-Sears, who worked with Hall and Foundation Coordinator Lynda Stringer to organize the event.

Volunteers for the event included TRMC employees Chris Agan, who served as event photographer; Cindy Gaskin and Jan Gaddis, who served as Greenland’s refreshment staff.