The Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce is replacing Fantasy Night with a new event to benefit local organizations.
At Fantasy Night, 300 tickets were sold for $100 each, giving the ticket holder dinner for two and a chance at the big prize, $10,000.
In addition to the big winner, the Chamber shared half of the proceeds with local organizations.
Organizers said it worked well when all the tickets were sold, providing needed funds for the senior center, American Legion, Pacific Youth Association, Pacific Partnership and Meramec Valley School District athletic program.
“We faced the fact that Fantasy Night had run its course,” said Alan Baldwin, Chamber board member who will chair the next big benefit.
“We had difficulty selling all of the tickets for the past four years and for the past two years we couldn’t sell all the tickets,” he said.
What the Chamber has found to replace its once popular lottery is an eclectic performer who entertains private parties and fundraisers with a pair of dueling pianos.
The Chamber will use a portion of the proceeds of the upcoming benefit to help upgrade the lighting and soundboard in the Pacific High School Auditorium.
“We knew that we wanted to replace Fantasy Night with a fundraiser that would still provide funds to a worthy civic project,” Baldwin said. “Our young performers at the high school are among our greatest assets. We wanted to help their program.”
Philip “Spanky” Manois, a 1993 Pacific High School graduate, has developed a following by encouraging music lovers to defend their favorite tunes in a musical performance of dueling pianos.
“He says he hasn’t played in this area before and is excited about coming back to entertain the home folks,” Baldwin said.
Manois has traveled the country playing in dueling piano bars. He has owned two piano bars in St. Louis and now operates Spanky Entertainment, which provides pianos, speakers, lights and sound equipment, and serves as his own DJ for private wedding receptions and fund-raising dances.
According to his webpage, he recently served as a consultant for Harrah’s Casino piano bar. Spanky Entertainment has performed at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park; the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles; Windows on Washington in St. Louis; and the Franklin Room in Soulard.
Samples of his piano and vocals can be found at www.spankyentertainment.com.
The piano event will take place Saturday, Feb. 2. Cost is $30 per person, which includes dinner and the show. There will be a cash bar. The cost is $25 per person for a table of eight.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served beginning at 6 p.m. The show takes place from 7 to 10 p.m.
To order your tickets or reserve a table, people may call the Chamber office at 636-271-6639.