(Biloxi, Miss.) July 14, 2017 – Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves will serve as Honorary Chair for the 10th Annual Moonlight & Magnolias fundraiser for the American Red Cross, where four celebrity dancers - including Beau Rivage’s vice president and legal counsel Anthony Del Vescovo - will perform in a Dancing with the Stars-type competition The event, presented by Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, will take place on August 19.
In addition to Del Vescovo, this year’s celebrity dancers include White Willow boutique owner Dina Cook, Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort CEO LuAnn Pappas, and attorney and Mississippi State Senator Sean Tindell. Last year’s celebrity dancers Lynn Lofton, Caty Mahoney Hulett, Robert Ridgway and Anita Clarke will serve as dance judges. WLOX-TV news personality Jonathan Brannan will serve as Master of Ceremonies and additional entertainment will be provided by Starz.
"MGM Resorts and Beau Rivage have been long-time supporters of the American Red Cross," said Mary Cracchiolo Spain, MGM Resorts Communications Director and Red Cross Biloxi Advisory Board Chair. "For the tenth consecutive year Beau Rivage has helped underwritten this signature event, so that money raised can go directly to supporting those in need."
This year’s gala also celebrates the Red Cross’s Mississippi Centennial. Although the American Red Cross began in 1881 the first chapters in Mississippi were chartered in 1917, including chapters in Hattiesburg (June 9, 1917), Bay St. Louis (June 22, 1917), and Biloxi (July 16, 1917).
Tickets to the event are $100 each and reserved tables of ten are available while they last, according to the co-chairs. Order tickets by calling the Red Cross at (228) 896-4511, or by emailing email@example.com.
“The Moonlight & Magnolias Gala has become a signature event on the Mississippi Coast and it gets better every year,” said gala committee co-chairs Jennifer Lee and Ashley Endris. “An evening of great food, dancing, silent auction, a celebrity dance competition and a chance to honor a great humanitarian are enough to make it a hot ticket, but the best part is that we’re raising a lot of money to support our local Red Cross chapter.”
Coast casino executive and community leader Duncan McKenzie will be honored as the Southeast Mississippi chapter’s Humanitarian of the Year. Duncan M. McKenzie, Vice President and General Manager of IP Casino Resort & Spa, has more than 31 years of experience in the gaming industry. McKenzie assumed oversight of the IP in November 2014.
Honorary Chair Lieutenant Governor Reeves presides over the 52-member Senate with a focus on keeping government spending under control, reforming education and making Mississippi a better place to raise a family. Under his leadership, Mississippi has a balanced budget that spends more on education and reduces taxpayers’ overall debt burden.
Reeves is past chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association. He was named one of the top 40 politicians under 40 by The Washington Post. Reeves was named a 2013 Charter Champion by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He received the State Legislative Achievement Award from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform for the passage of the Attorney General “Sunshine Act.” Reeves is a graduate of Florence High School and an honors graduate of Millsaps College with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
The American Red Cross in Mississippi responded to more than 2,800 home fires last year and Red Cross volunteers installed more than 6,500 free smoke alarms in homes in Mississippi. The Red Cross also provided emergency relief efforts to five major Mississippi disasters, provided local hospitals with more than 15,000 units of blood, and assisted in more than 4,200 cases involving military families and veterans. Almost 1,400 trained Red Cross volunteers provided more than 93,000 volunteer hours last year. Money raised from the Moonlight & Magnolias Gala benefits the local Red Cross Chapter.
“Our goal is to make Mississippi safe and prepared and we can’t do that without the support of our leaders in Mississippi. We are honored that Lt. Gov. Reeves has accepted the role of honorary chair, we’re very proud to be able to turn a spotlight on Duncan McKenzie for all he’s done for our communities, and we promise a great evening of entertainment” said Red Cross Southeast Mississippi Chapter Executive Director John McFarland.
For additional information, please visit www.redcross.org/mississippi
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 42 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/mississippi or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossMiss