Forty-five guests — from the local area and across the country — recently arrived at the home of Stephan and Lori Karian in Sandestin for an exclusive dinner with academy award-winning actor, Morgan Freeman.
The dinner with Freeman was auctioned for $80,000 with one hundred percent of the proceeds directly benefiting the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center.
The Karians hosted a stellar evening where guests enjoyed one-on-one visits with Morgan Freeman, entertainment by Geoff McBride (from NBC’s The Voice), and a 5-course wine dinner.
We were quite mesmerized by Morgan Freeman and his generosity,” said hostess Lori Karian.
“He literally spent time with everyone,” said Karian. “Our guests started dancing while Morgan Freeman sang along with Geoff McBride. The most rewarding component of the evening is that everything benefited the needs of the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center.”
Well-known chefs from Stinky’s Fish Camp/Blue Mountain Catering Jim Richard, Todd Misener and Brannon Janca partnered with David Cunningham of “V” Seagrove to prepare a sumptuous dinner. Wine pairings were provided by Dan Kosta, partner of Kosta Browne Winery from the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California. Sysco generously donated the gourmet dinner, while Freeman donated his time for his appearance for what has become known as the Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown.
Wine aficionados Michael and Valerie Thompson, also Sandestin residents, originally began organizing and hosting these ‘Throwdown’ parties in their home to benefit numerous Gulf Coast charities.
In April, the 6th Annual Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown was comprised of several events which began with Emeril Lagasse sharing his culinary expertise at Lovelace Interiors in Destin. Other events included a Sip ‘n’ Shop for the ladies at participating boutiques along Scenic Corridor 30A, a golf tournament at Kelly Plantation, and the grand finale, an outdoor barbeque competition at the Thompsons’ home. Five teams competed, including guest of honor Emeril Lagasse, with celebrity judges naming the best barbeque team and guests voting a People’s Choice winner.
An integral part of the Throwdown is a prize bevy of unique live auction items including a Hawaiian vacation, Napa Valley tourings and tastings, George Rodrigue art, dinner with Morgan Freeman and more.
For more information about this charitable event, check out www.ChiChiMiguelThrowdown.com
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