Dinner with Friends pop-up benefit roars into Newberry Hall with Gatsby style

May 6, 2019

There was a party at Newberry Hall on Sunday that would make even the imagination of F. Scott Fitzgerald jealous.

The 2019 Dinner with Friends was held that night, flaunting a ” Party Like Gatsby ” theme.

Women wore dresses adorned with frills and tassels, sequins and feathers. Men sported fedoras and slacks, checkered socks, vests and all sorts of suits. There was the occasional cigar and cigarette holder, too. And don’t forget the suspenders.

Inside Newberry Hall, warm-toned string lights swooped from corner to corner, and the ceiling was embellished with white sashes. The atmosphere was described as beautiful and elegant by more than one person.

The dinner – essentially a pop-up event, as the location is announced right beforehand via text – benefits the Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County. The Aiken Standard was a sponsor.

About 150 people showed up for the bring-your-own, picnic-inspired night.

Jamie Mothkovich, the CMCAC executive director, helps lead Dinner with Friends, which until recently was known as Dinner with Friends en Blanc.

Mothkovich said Dinner with Friends is her favorite fundraiser. And it always brings out a load of “community support,” she noted.

Asked about the shift away from en blanc and toward a theme, Mothkovich said it was a matter of changing “things up a bit.”

“It’s fun,” she said, later telling the crowd things were “a little different” this year.

Dinner with Friends attendees are encouraged to bring table decorations; this year, it seemed, attendees were drawn to lace, gilded items and anything with a punch and pop of color. Among other things decorating the dozens of tables were umbrellas, bouquets, platters and candelabras.

CMCAC was originally formed in 1998 by Area Churches Together Serving. At the time, it was known as the ACTS of Caring Clinic, per the organization’s website.

In 2007, the clinic moved to its current location: 244 Greenville St. N.W.

Medical services at CMCAC are made available to those in Aiken County who are considered low income and do not have health insurance.

The clinic specifically works with 19- to 64-year-olds.