The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


April 12, 2014

Luau raises funds to support programming

CLINTON — Hundreds of supporters and volunteers gathered Friday night to endorse a lifesaving organization in the Gateway area.

The 10th annual Gateway Area Red Cross Luau kicked off the night at the Tuscany Event Center at Rastrelli’s with a buffet of hors d’oeuvres for people to enjoy as they mingled with one another and celebrated the work of the American Red Cross.

“This is a fun event that gets people together in an entertaining way,” Gateway Area Red Cross Executive Director Amber Wood said. “But it is all geared toward a very serious cause.”

As the Gateway area organization’s largest fund-raising event of the year, gaining the support of the community at the annual event is an integral piece of keeping the program running.

And Wood says a good majority of the community continues to support them year in and year out.

”The community really gets behind the Red Cross,” Wood said. “I think they really understand and support our mission. And this is a way to bring awareness to the community.”

It is also a way to bring funding to the Gateway Area Red Cross and the disaster support and other support services it offers.

Typically generating around $13,000, Wood expected Friday’s event to generate even more with the largest attendance she’s seen in her six years with the organization.

More than 200 people were present on Friday, meaning the Red Cross staff and volunteers had a good chance to meet their goal of raising more than $15,000 at this year’s luau.

”With all our ticket sales, corporate sponsors, dessert auction and everything else, I think we can do it,” Wood said.

Whether or not they reach their goal, Wood was just happy to see people taking part in the annual event and felt confident knowing that they would at least raise some money to ensure the American Red Cross can continue delivering livesaving services to people in need.

Amy Kent can be reached at



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