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Dining Around Douglas raises $8,500 for YMCA scholarships

The Alexandria Area YMCA's "Dining Around Douglas" event on March 29 at the Holiday Inn was a great success this year, according to organizers.

A total of 215 people attended the event and $8,500 was raised for the YMCA scholarship program, doubling the amount of last year.

There were mouth watering food, desserts and drinks donated graciously by 15 of Alexandria's local establishments: Fat Daddy's, Holiday Inn, Rudy's Red Eye Grill, Bennigans, Arrowood, Whiskey Creek, Tastefully Simple, Doolittles, Anderson's Outpost, Eddy's, D Michael B's, Bella's, Bugaboo Bay, Culvers, Dunn Brothers, and Carlos Creek Winery.

Awards presented included:

•People's Choice award: Eddy's Interlachen Inn. The food included a seafood chowder, created by Chef Mark Swanson, and bacon-wrapped olives stuffed with cream cheese, created by Gayle Haanen, owner, and Sara Heffron.

•Best Dessert: Bella's.

•Most Creative: Arrowwood.

•Most Memorable: Bugaboo Bay/D Michael B's.

•Most Appetizing: Whiskey Creek.

There was a live auction and the second-ever family YMCA membership was given to Elliot Christensen.

Live music was provided by Mark Blom and Randy Morken.

"It was a wonderful event in which we celebrated the food, the people, and the special YMCA announcement of the Alexandria Area YMCA ground breaking on April 22," noted Kate Heydt, YMCA program director.

The groundbreaking ceremony is set for 10:30 a.m. at the YMCA's site near the intersection of County Road 82 and 45 west of Alexandria. A shuttle bus will load from the east parking lot of Tastefully Simple.