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Celebrity look-alikes to enliven charity event

Published Sep. 1, 2005

Celebrity impersonators will add to the fun of a live auction during the Key Training Center's annual Run for the Money dinner and auction July 18 at the Citrus Springs Community Center.

The annual Run for the Money will follow several days after the dinner from July 21 to 26, when a team of joggers will run from Tallahassee to the Key Center in Lecanto. To welcome the runners back, a carnival, human foosball tournament and baseball game will take place at noon July 26 at the Key campus on State Road 44 between Lecanto and Crystal River.

The auction and Run for the Money are fundraising and publicity projects for the Key Training Center, an agency that provides mentally challenged adults with services such as education, job training and life skills. The center hopes to raise $140,000 during the auction, the Run for the Money and a telethon, also on July 26.

The dinner and auction will attempt to add a touch of Hollywood glamour, with impersonators playing the roles of celebrities such as Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Marilyn Monroe, Patsy Cline and Charlie Chaplin. The theme for the dinner is "Reach for the Stars." The impersonators portraying Ball and Arnaz will also help conduct the auction.

Tickets for the dinner auction are $50 and can be purchased through the Key Center Foundation by calling 564-1440.

The event begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. A steak dinner catered by Outback Restaurant of Inverness, will be at 6:30 p.m.

"They're setting up their grills at the community center and will be cooking a great steak dinner," said Melissa Walker, director of development and community relations for the Key Center. "They're donating all of their services for this event."

During the meal, the Eddie Shannon Band will present a variety show. The band will also play dance music after the auction finishes at 9 p.m.

The live auction will consist of 25 items collectively valued at more than $6,000, including a catered home dinner party for eight prepared by French chef Keith Chancas; a Thomas Kinkade Chandler's Cottage framed painting, a sculptured red-eyed tree frog by local artist Pete Rachel, and a personalized portrait by the Citrus County Art League Portrait Group. Other items include vacation packages and sports collectibles.

A silent auction will have more than 100 items, featuring everything from home furnishings to vacation and activity trips, from objects of art to autographed books, sports memorabilia and celebrity photographs.

The Citrus Springs Community Center is at 1570 W Citrus Springs Blvd., about 8 miles west of U.S. 41 in Citrus Springs.

_ Jorge Sanchez can be reached at 860-7313 or