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Area chefs to help out Girl Scouts

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 25, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Chefs from some of the Tri-Cities’ most popular restaurants — Troutdale, One12 Downtown, Bellafina, Cranberries, Stir Fry Cafe, Wellington’s and others — will team up to help the Girl Scout Council of Southern Appalachia tonight at the Renaissance Center, 1200 E. Center St., Kingsport.

Appetizers, dessert and cocktails created with inspiration from the Scouts’ timeless cookies, live music by Kids Our Age and a Cookie Crown challenge with a panel of local celebrity judges will be on the menu.

It’s an adults only affair and tickets are $50 per person and include two free cocktails. A $5 beer and wine bar will be provided. And all proceeds will go to the council to help Girl Scouts in the Tri-Cities area develop the courage, confidence and character they need to make their world a better place.

Celebrity Cookie Crown judges will include Ashley Grindstaff, Linda Bowman O’Dell of Bowman Jewelers, and Amy Lynn from WJHL Daytime Tri-Cities. WCYB’s Preston Ayers will serve as master of ceremonies.

Seating will be limited. Tickets may be reserved online www.GirlScoutCSA.org or purchased at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Area Belk stores will open their doors early Saturday to help local nonprofit organizations help the communities where they do business.

Belk’s annual Spring Charity Sale, a four-hour discount shopping extravaganza, will get under way at all Belk stores at 6 a.m. Discounts of 20 to 70 percent will be offered throughout the stores, including 25 percent off kids’ fashions, ladies shoes and men’s suits. All shoppers will receive a $5 discount on their first purchase. The first 100 customers to walk through the doors at each of the stores will receive a Belk gift card ranging in value from $5 to $100 and a chance to win one of three $1,000 Belk gift cards to be awarded companywide.

Customers who can’t make the special sale hours are invited to shop on Friday and come back any time Saturday to pick up their purchases.

Jessica Graham, Belk’s vice president of community relations, said. “Some of the participating nonprofits raise more funds through this sale than any other effort, so we hope all Belk customers will take part in giving back to their communities while they shop.”

Belk’s spring and fall Charity Sales have raised more $10 million for more than 8,000 nonprofit organizations including March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, United Way, the American Red Cross, school athletics, scholastic organizations and churches.

Local charities may still sign up by contacting a Belk store manager in their area. Tickets for the sale are $5 and may be purchased at the door or from any of the dozens of participating nonprofit service organizations or at the door.

For more information about the benefit, visit www.belk.com/charitysale.

Olson Martial Arts Academy will host its 6th annual St. Jude benefit Saturday at its studio at 1900 N. Roan St.

The festival will include martial art demonstrations, carnival games and concessions from which all proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Olson students are collecting pledges for St. Jude and plan to break 1,000 wooden boards between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

A former Olson student is undergoing treatment for leukemia at St. Jude and is conducting his own “Junkin’ for St. Jude” benefit. A large container will be available at the studio for donations of recyclable items ranging from aluminum foil to appliances. Donations of new hats for children undergoing cancer treatment at St. Jude will also be collected.

The academy raised $15,000 at last year’s benefit and this year’s goal is $18,000. All donations for St. Jude will be welcomed.

For more information about the benefit, call Nanci Vasilko at 926-9161.

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