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Third Annual Black-Tie Event Honors Memory of Local Resident, Raises Money for Cancer Patient Support Program

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. -- Cuisine from some of the area's finest chefs, an enchanting performance by can-can dancers and the chance to win a Duke basketball package that includes tickets to an ACC game will be just some of the featured attractions at the third annual Rockus Bacchus fund-raiser. The event will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program (DCPSP), which provides resources to those battling cancer and their families.

The event was conceived three years ago in memory of Durham resident Audrey Chase, a DCPSP friend and supporter. Chase, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1999, always loved a good party, and Rockus Bacchus is a celebration of her positive spirit.

"It's almost a circus in some ways," said Chase's daughter Pam Gutlon. "There are so many things happening and it's an evening that stimulates all the senses. It really captures my mother's energy, creative ideas and sense of fun."

The evening, which embraces a French theme this year, includes a five-course meal, with each course prepared by a different area chef. The culinary creations will be paired with complementary fine wines. In addition to stimulating the taste buds, the evening will also feature entertainment, dancing and an auction led by local auctioneer Leland Little. Auction items include a trip to France, a catered dinner for 10 and a personal wine cellar filled with collectable French wines.

Chef Bret Jennings of Elaine's on Franklin in Chapel Hill will be participating in his second Rockus Bacchus. He will prepare the soup course -- a truffle, leek and potato potage.

"We named our restaurant after a family friend who died of brain cancer just as we were opening," said Jennings. "And that influenced our decision to get involved with this event."

Chef Joe Lumbrazo and his executive sous-chef Pedro Villasana of Treyburn Country Club in Durham will be contributing the salad course -- a ballottine of quail. "Anytime you can get together with colleagues and friends to benefit such a great organization, it's a positive thing," said Lumbrazo.

Other restaurants participating are Fairview Restaurant, Guglhupf Patisserie and the Washington Duke Inn. Supporters of the event include GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho Biotech and Novartis.

Tickets to Rockus Bacchus are $200 per person, and the event is black tie optional. For more information, contact Cheyenne Corbett at the DCPSP, (919) 684-4497.

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