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'Bollywood' is theme for Near & Far gala, fashion show

Published 6:22 pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013
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"Bollywood" is the theme for Near & Far Aid's annual Spring Gala and fashion show, scheduled for Friday evening, March 1, at Mitchells, the downtown Westport clothier.

The benefit is planned for 7 to 10 p.m. at the 670 Post Road East store and is one of the philanthropic organization's major fundraisers.

The evening will feature a full runway show of designer fashions for spring, Indian cuisine, spirits and wine, and a mainstay of the gala -- an auction of various trips, plus a separate wine auction.

Masters of ceremonies for the evening will be Liz Claman, anchor of Fox Business News' "Countdown to the Closing Bell" and Dave Price, former New York TV weatherman and talk-show host.

Another celebrity on hand will be professional dancer Tony Dovolani, a longtime regular on ABC-TV's "Dancing with the Stars."

Tickets are $300 for the gala, $400 for the gala and an after party at Mitchells featuring the New York City band Tremors in an after-party lounge. Tickets are available at www.nearandfaraid.org .

Founded in 1946, Near & Far Aid is an all-volunteer organization that works to reduce the effects of poverty in Fairfield County. Since 2000, it has awarded more than $12 million in grants to nonprofit groups, including nearly $1 million in its most recent fiscal year.

For the gala, Mitchell's will be festooned with an Indian tent motif, and ethnic edibles will be prepared by Bill Kaliff, executive chef for the Norwalk catering and event-planner Festivities.

During the auction, guests may bid on several trips -- including a five-night stay in India.

The India package includes three nights in New Delhi and two nights in Udaipur, a city on Pichola Lake in western India. Accommodations all five nights are at Leela Palace hotels. Air fare is not included.

Also up for bid will be tickets to the women's final of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London in July and two nights' accommodations for two. Air fare is not included.

Auto racing fans can bid on an all-expenses-paid trip to the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, in November. The package includes air fare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and hotel accomodations for two, plus VIP access to the race paddock area.

In a separate wine auction, rare vintages will be on the block.

For tickets or more information, visit www.nearandfaraid.org.