The Lincoln City Cultural Center will embrace classic cruise ship cool this Saturday, May 4, as it celebrates its fifth annual Culture, Of Course! Gala with the theme “An Affair to Remember.”

The elegant evening will take guests on a Mediterranean cruise, with food, music and entertainment inspired by the Golden Age of travel.

The adventure will begin at 5:30 pm, with the opening of the Jazz at Sea Lounge and the Desert Sands Game Room at the south end of the center. In the jazz lounge, there will be live music by Greg Ernst and Greg Berton, along with a silent auction filled with baskets and gift certificates. Next door in the game room, the adventurous can choose a surprise from the “Pyramids of Giza” — with every building block box guaranteed to contain a prize worth at least $25 and most boxes, a whole lot more. Or, have a little fun at the carnival-style wine ring toss, where you aim for the vintage you desire. Guests can enjoy a signature cocktail, the Pomegranate Royale, or a glass of Northwest wine or beer, as well as Mediterranean appetizers prepared and served by the students from the Taft High School Culinary Team.

At 6:30 pm, master of ceremonies Keith Altomare will move the guests into the auditorium, decorated in the luxurious style of a 1950s cruise ship like the one where Deborah Kerr met Cary Grant in the classic film “An Affair to Remember.” Dinner will be served buffet-style, with food inspired by Mediterranean ports of call and donated by generous local chefs and restaurants. At press time, the menu included seafood paella by The Side Door Café, halibut with mushroom risotto by Kyllo’s Restaurant, a vegetable lasagna by Lord Brixxton’s, lamb kofta by Old Line Lanes, spanakopita from Melany Berry/Full Heart Productions and bisteya (a Moroccan carrot salad) by Donna Riani. The buffet adventure will continue with even more delicious French pastry contributions by Dede Mettle of Volta Bakery. Northwest wines will be sold by the glass and by the bottle throughout the evening.

The romance of the classic film will be everywhere, especially when the microphone is handed to this year’s Culture, Of Course! featured performer, Rocky Blumhagen. Accompanied by pianist Rick Modlin and bassist Greg Berton, Blumhagen will perform a tribute to American composer Harry Warren, who created more than 400 songs for 90 different movies including “An Affair to Remember.”

A live auction will offer tasty treats like Depoe Baykery donuts, pie from Capt. Dan’s Pirate Pastry and locally-raised, grass-fed beef, and beautiful things like a mosaic by Joanne Daschel as well as Marriott Hotel vacation packages in Seattle, Portland, Hawaii and Arizona. Intimate dinners, landscaping materials and once-in-a-lifetime artistic experiences will be up for sale, all to benefit arts and culture programs at the center.

For donors who prefer to invest in something solid, the Culture, Of Course! Totally Tangible Paddle Raise offers the chance to stump up support for one of several items introduced by Executive Director Niki Price. Last year’s paddle raise purchased an ice maker for the kitchen, a coat rack for the Green Room and new fixtures for the gallery.

The evening will end with the final drawing of the Culture, Of Course! 50/50 Raffle, with the winner receiving half the proceeds from all the raffle sales — a minimum of $2,750 but perhaps as much as $5,000. Second prize is a collection of three wool carpets, donated by Sener and Julie Otrugman of The Kelp Bed in Lincoln City, with third prize being a tasting menu for two, with wine, from The Bay House Restaurant.

Raffle tickets are $20 each, or six for $100, and are available from committee members, online at or in person at the cultural center. Only 500 tickets will be sold and holders need not be present to win.

Tickets for this gala evening are $75 apiece and are available by calling 541-994-9994 or online at

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