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Preview: Annual Taste of the Lakes Gala in Excelsior Benefits Local Support Networks

Four tickets to Madona's upcoming concert—along with limo ride to the arena and wine from the winery of the diva's father—will highlight this year's auction.

The 14th Annual Taste of the Lakes event at the Bayview Event Center in Excelsior will benefit the Intercongregation Communities Association (ICA) Foodshelf and the Western Communities Action Network, Inc. (WeCAN).

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday night, participants can sample food and drinks from a variety of restaurants, including as Bayside Grille, Maynards, Big Bowl, Excelsior Brewery, Famous Dave's, Jake O'Connor's, Noodles and Company, Old Chicago, Paradise Charters and Patisserie Margo.

The event includes a silent and live auction and, of course, music. This year's soundtrack will be laid down by 3rd Wheel GroupBo Riddley and the Chris Kelly Band. Festivities are scheduled to wrap up around 10:30 p.m.

Comedian Kristin Anderson will serve as emcee for the night, and WCCO news anchor Frank Vascellaro will present the live auction.

WeCAN provides a number of emergency services, including rent and mortgage help, utilities, gas cards, food cards, and providing assistance to those looking for a job.

This will be ICA Foodshelf’s fourth year participating in Taste of the Lakes, and the have typically raised between $10,000 and $12,000.

Community contributions have become even more important in recent years, as the ICA Foodshelf has seen an 85 percent increase since 2008 in the number of people served. Services offered include groceries, assistance with rent or utilities, job help and referrals to other services.

Advance tickets for the event are $30 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. Advance tickets can be purchased online, through the BayView Event Center website or by calling 952.279.0290.

Clear Channel, Lakeshore Weekly, Sun Sailor and Sears Imported Auto are the title sponsors of this year's Taste of the Lakes fundraiser.

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