Annual Fire & Ice gala raises support for Dixie State University students

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The Dixie Foundation’s 13th annual Fire & Ice gala brought together community members last month for a night of fun to raise support for Dixie State University needs-based scholarships.


Fire & Ice Gala Chair Ronda Neilson said the event was a huge success and raised close to $150,000, with donations still being reconciled.


Annual Fire & Ice gala raises support for Dixie State University students
Fire&Ice2: Community members peruse the auction items available at the Dixie Foundation’s 13th annual Fire & Ice gala on Feb. 24 in the SunRiver St. George Community Center. Photo courtesy of Jared Madsen/Dixie State University

“The gala was a prestigious and fantastic event filled with the spirit of giving, great music and fabulous food,” Neilson said. “Members of the St. George community really came together to support this cause, and the gala would not have been a success without them.”


A generous portion of the dinner served at the gala was donated by Tom and Dorothy Heers of Cliffside Restaurant and was prepared under the direction of celebrity chef Jared Painter.


The gala also included the screening of a scholarship recipient video, produced by Matt Hansen and Jenny Reynolds, which Neilson said was a focal point of the evening. Neilson also commended the DSU Jazz Band, the DSU Herald Trumpets and pianist Del Beatty for providing top-notch musical entertainment throughout the evening.


Live and silent auctions, which featured a variety of items donated by members of the community, also were an important part of the event. The silent auction included items such as golf packages, vacation stays and several collectible items, while the live auction included a gun safe, a grandfather clock and an evening with Dixie State President and First Lady Richard B. and Kristin Williams.


Stephen and Marcia Wade highlighted the night of charitable giving when they doubled their donation. The Wades originally donated a one-week stay in a 12,000 square foot oceanfront home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. With two attendees engaged in a bidding war over the vacation package, Neilson said the Wades stepped up and donated an additional one-week stay in Cabo, doubling the money raised through their donation.


The gala was black tie-optional and Mardi Gras-themed, and Neilson said the decorations were spectacular. Decorations included beads and masks as well as floral centerpieces, donated by Hal Hiatt and Shirley Kelly, on each table. Attendees had the option this year to make a donation to take home a centerpiece, and Neilson said every arrangement was taken.


Neilson said the event was successful on all fronts, adding that past Fire & Ice Gala Chairs Marcia Wade, Pat Western and Dorothy Orton as well as John Bowler, a Dixie State development officer, were instrumental in making the event such a success. Bowler, however, credits those who attended the gala and donated to the cause.


“The food, entertainment, decorations and ambience were amazing,” Bowler said. “It was such a fun event with great generosity from all those who came and donated their time, talent and treasures to do good for Dixie State University students and our community.”


To learn more about Fire & Ice and The Dixie Foundation, visit dixiefoundation.org.

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