September 15, 2015
Fall Fundraisers
By Larry Erickson

Our calendar is packed with fall events that benefit worthy causes. Here's a trio of fundraisers that promise to reward your generosity with distinctive and memorable evenings:
  • Mone Aye, a refugee from Burma,, is a bilingual community outreach worker with the Des Moines Public Schools and a co-founder of EMBARC.
    Celebrate the contributions of five inspiring immigrants and refugees at the 2015 Passport to Prosperity Awards, presented by the Iowa International Center Sept. 26 at Drake University's Olmsted Center. Honorees are Mone Aye, Alejandra Vidal-Soler Graham, Nu Huynh, Serkan Usta and Sang Wong. Learn more about them on the IIC's website. The celebration, which starts at 6 p.m., includes a banquet menu reflecting the native cultures of the evening's honorees. The cost is $50 per person; RSVP by Sept. 21 and buy tickets here.
  • Consider tipping wildly, even gratuitously, at the sixth annual Celebrity Servers Night Sept. 28 at Django and Centro restaurants. Your generosity supports the mission of the Young Women's Resource Center. 
    Nu Huynh, a refugee from Vietnam, is executive director of the Iowa Asian Alliance.
    This year, experienced servers will be paired with some of the city's dynamic young professionals. You'll pay $40 for a three-course prix-fixe meal; purchase tickets in advance here. Pick from two seating times: 5:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. Questions? Email or call 244-4901.
  • In its heritage, collections and architecture, Des Moines' Salisbury House & Gardens reflects a bygone gilded age. Celebrate that era anew at the Salisbury House Gilded Age fundraising gala Oct. 3. In the spirit of the mansion's past Gatsby-themed events, the gala will feature an elegant six-course dinner. Formal attire is encouraged, of course. The event starts at 6 p.m., and tickets are $250 per person (or $1,800 for a table of eight); buy them here
Warehouse Loft Update Blends Traditional and Urban Style
A chic and playful update to this downtown loft mixes original exposed brick with rich red tones and a contemporary flair. Add storage space...perfection.
Table 128 Wins Award
By Wini Moranville

Sarah and Lynn Pritchard 
of Table 128.
I should love it when one of my favorite restaurants gets the wider recognition that it deserves; however, as a restaurant reviewer, it's always more fun to champion lesser-known underdogs than to follow the throngs to everyone's favorite hotspots.

So while most of me is thrilled that husband-and-wife duo Lynn and Sarah Pritchard of Table 128 have just been named "Restaurateurs of the Year" by the Iowa Restaurant Association, there's also a part of me that thinks, "Soon, I'll no longer be able to take the uninitiated there and hear them say, 'Wow! Who knew? ' "

Because soon, everyone will know (if they don't already), that this venue is one of our city'sbest. To find out why I think so, read my dsm magazine review of the restaurant.

Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, says the Pritchards quickly rose to the top of this year's list of nominations. "Table 128 and its owners ... exemplify everything an upscale casual independent restaurant should be," she said.

Other food professionals also were honored by the association this year, including Mike Holman, executive chef of the Two Rivers Hospitality Group in Des Moines (which includes Dos Rios, Big City Burgers, DSM Catering and Sidebar), who was named Chef of the Year. Pamela Patton, owner-operator of Patton's Restaurant & Catering, won the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award.
Exhibit Opening

Time for a road trip to Grinnell: Faulconer Gallery opens a major exhibit, "Start by Asking Questions," this Friday, Sept. 18. 

The exhibit features 46 major contemporary works drawn from the collections of Howard and Cindy Rachofsky of Dallas, Texas, and Amy Hamamoto Faulconer and the late Vernon Faulconer. The couples were art partners for years, collecting 20th- and 21st-century art together and sharing them with others. 

The show will include international artists such as Sigmar Polke (German), Janine Antoni (Bahamian) and John Gerrard (Irish), among others. The exhibit runs through Dec. 13. Find out more here.

Pictured:  Yinka Shonibare, "Flower Power Kids (Dueling)," 2014. Mannequins, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, fiberglass, leather, decommissioned antique flint-lock guns.
Larry Erickson is contributing editor of dsm.
Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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