Step into a winter wonderland Feb. 5 at URI’s Winter Gala

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500 |
KINGSTON, R.I.– November 10, 1999 — Picture a winter wonderland with a snow-covered park, street lights, an old-fashioned sleigh and a snowcapped forest of evergreen and broadleaf trees. Now imagine that you could enjoy dancing and dining in such a scene without experiencing the frost-bitten fingers and toes that come from being out in the cold. The dream will become reality on Saturday Feb. 5 at the Newport Doubletree Islander Hotel when the University of Rhode Island holds its Seventh Annual Winter Gala. Called the “Winter Wonderland Celebration” the gala features the interior creations of Richard Carbotti’s Perfect Surroundings. Carbotti, a resident of Newport, has planned a setting that will include ice sculptures and mannequins dressed in period costumes chatting at the edge of an icy pond. Carbotti created three events for Nancy Reagan, and the party for the 1996 Super Bowl in Phoenix. He planned the recent opening for the Providence Place Mall. Carbotti is also a partner in Themes Restaurant in Newport, which changes its decor every two months. “A lot of people like being in Newport because it is a getaway,” said Jen Durand, assistant director of the Alumni Relations. “But when they walk into the Doubletree, they are really going to feel as though they’ve walked into a winter fantasyland.” Proceeds from the event, which last year raised about $100,000, will benefit annual alumni scholarships and grants for deserving URI undergraduates. Sid Cohen, honorary chairman of the gala and president of MGM Domestic Television Distribution, said this is a festive way for alumni to reconnect with the University. “The gala provides a perfect opportunity to celebrate URI through scholarships supporting undergraduate students,” the 1955 graduate said. A pre-gala reception sponsored by CVS/pharmacy and Textron will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and will feature hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, champagne and an auction preview. The gala will follow from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and for the first time will feature a sit-down dinner, along with dancing to the sounds of Sure Thing and silent and live auctions. Black tie is optional. Those attending will dine on: double strength chicken consommé baked in pastry with “URI” decoration, Ridgecrest Farms Field Greens, vegetable confetti and aged red wine vinaigrette, salmon and beef tenderloin medallions over barley risotto and chimi churri and grilled vegetables. More than 100 items will be auctioned off, including trips and tickets to major athletic events. Corporate sponsors are welcomed, and items for the silent and live auctions are being accepted. Donations can include artwork, trips, and other unique opportunities. Tickets are $100 per person and $175 for the gala and reception. Groups can purchase a table for 10 at $1,000. Make checks payable to URI Winter Gala, and mail to: Winter Gala, URI Alumni Association, 12 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, R.I. 02881-2011. Credit card orders may be placed by phone at 401-874-2242 or by fax at 401-874-5957. The Doubletree is also offering a special URI rate of $85 per room for those who want a getaway night. The Winter Gala committee is as follows: Member, Hometowns Sid Cohen ’55, honorary chairperson , Marina Del Ray, Calif. Lincoln D. Almond ’85, and Lynn M. Almond ’84, both chairs, Kingston Kimberly Rose ’78, chair, Wakefield F. Steven DiMasi, chair, Wakefield Angel Hilliard ’79, Cranston Steve Leach’86, Warwick Steven DeLuca’84 and Sharon DeLuca’85, Warwick Chester W. Ham, ’62, master’s ’69, Warwick M.J. Miniati Krueger ’83, Cranston Robert S. Messinger, Jr. ’73, Portsmouth Martha Sheridan ’83, Kingston Jill Trautman ’88, Coventry David J. DeRouin’88 and Jayne M. DeRouin, Cranston Stephen D. Chmielewski ’86, Framingham, Mass. Mark Davis ’83, East Greenwich Nancy A. Lundgren ’54, Tiverton; Deborah O’Brien’85 ’96, North Kingstown Bonnie Saccucci, ’81, Wakefield Dennis N. DiSano, ’70, Warwick Salvator J. Corio, ’83, Cranston Michelle DiBiasio, ’00, Johnston Kathleen Duffy, ’80, Cranston Daniel J. Pendergast, Jr.,’59, Warwick Alan H. Wasserman, ’75, Providence and Narragansett Jennifer Durand, ’97, Alumni Association assistant director, Narragansett. -xxx- For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116