Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TOP STORY >> ‘Taste of New Orleans’ fundraiser Feb. 23

Leader staff writer

The Jacksonville Senior Wellness and Activity Center is bringing back the “Taste of New Orleans” fundraiser dinner for Mardi Gras.

Dinner and music will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Jacksonville Community Center Banquet Hall. Tickets are $20. Advanced purchase is requested to know how much food to cook. Tickets can be purchased at the Jacksonville Senior Wellness and Activity Center, 100 Victory Circle or by calling Connie Evans at 501-982-7531.

All proceeds benefit the Jacksonville Senior Wellness and Activity Center, which helps seniors with home delivered meals, transportation to doctors appointments, shopping, activities and daytrips. The center has exercise and educational programs. It serves community meals at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Assistant director Connie Evans is cooking all the food using her family’s recipes. Evans is originally from New Orleans. She and her family moved to Jacksonville days before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005.

The menu includes red beans and rice with smoked sausage, chicken and sausage gumbo with rice and jambalaya. They are the three main dishes of New Orleans cuisine. Evans is making mild and spicy versions of all the dishes.

“My favorite is jambalaya, because it has shrimp, and I love seafood,” she said.

Senior center chef Frances Travis is baking the king cakes.

Live jazz music will be performed by Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School High School band and Randy McDonald.

“Last year was a success. We sold 200 tickets and raised $3,000 for the senior center. People could not wait for this year,” Evans said.