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Sunday, July 21, 2024


Well, okay, if you're on a serious weight-loss regimen, "Just Desserts" is probably not a good event for you.
Unless you just want to try a little sample or so, which would probably be all right. Say a bite of the apfel strudel from Alexander's Cafe. . . a forkful of the Gateau St. Honoré from the Agave Terrace. . . a bit of the white chocolate mousse cake with fresh raspberries from The Pointe at Villa Olga. . . a spoonful of crème caramel from Hervé. . . and perhaps just the tiniest taste of the "chocolate thing" Duffy's Love Shack is going to deliver. . .
For most anyone else, there's no need to be inhibited. Family Resource Center's 3rd annual "Just Desserts" fund raiser is set for Wednesday, Nov. 10, at Cafe Amici in Riise's Alley, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Admission is $15 at the door, and that entitles you to nibble your way through dozens of sweet treats prepared by top St. Thomas chefs and bakers.
"We serve mini-portions," FRC board chair Sheena Conway emphasizes, "so you can sample a dozen different desserts and still only consume the calories of about two regular servings. I, for one, am going to go easy on the sweets for the next couple of days, work out as usual, have a light lunch Wednesday and not feel guilty at all."
Seriously, she says, "‘Just Desserts' is not about excess. It's a fund raiser and friend raiser for Family Resource Center." And it's a unique opportunity for folks to "get together after work, relax, chat with old and new friends in a lovely setting and just enjoy themselves — while supporting a worthy cause."
The center, formerly known as Women's Resource Center, provides counseling, emergency shelter, court advocacy and community outreach to help victims of domestic violence and other crimes. "Year after year, the demand for these services increases," Conway, an assistant attorney general, notes, "while at the same time, government funding is more and more uncertain. We count on community support through fund-raising events such as this to keep our programs going."
The event is taking place on the eve of Veterans Day, a holiday for government and most private-sector workers.
The first "Just Desserts" attracted about two dozen donations from restaurants, resorts and bakeries, and last year's second event did even better. Two new elements were added last year — a silent auction of uncut desserts to take home, and voting by guests for their favorites. (The tasters' top choices were the Agave Terrace's "Triple Chocolate Extravaganza" and the Ritz-Carlton's "White Chocolate Pear Cake.")
"We'll be doing both the auction and the voting again this time," Conway says.
Throughout the evening there will be music by Tahra Richardson and Tom Hightree (a.k.a. TNT) and Family Resource Center executive director Michal Rhymer "and friends." A cash bar will be serving hot and cold beverages.
For the first two dessert events, Zorba's Restaurant owner Jimmy Boukas donated the use of his Jimmy's Studio party room on Government Hill. Boukas is in Chicago recuperating from brain tumor surgery, and both Zorba's and Jimmy's Studio are closed. This year, Boukas' former partner Rick Kingsland offered the use of his own establishment, Cafe Amici.
"We are very grateful to Jimmy for his generosity over the years," Conway says, "and we appreciate the opportunity to keep our event 'in the family,' by holding it this year at Cafe Amici."
The Riise's Alley gate at the Main Street end will close at 5 p.m. and entry will be through the waterfront end of the passageway. Parking is available in the immediate vicinity and in the Emancipation Garden area. Anyone who would like to get tickets in advance may arrange to do so by calling 776-3966. Any restaurant or bakery that has not been contacted and would like to donate a dessert should call the same number.

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