A cruise-themed evening of fine dining, live music, and dancing have been planned for the State Fair Community College Foundation’s "Anchors Away Soiree" March 28 in the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center on the Sedalia campus.

The event is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. It will feature cocktails and appetizers, dinner at 7 p.m., the popular dessert dash, and cruise ship style entertainment. Eric Rehmer, State Fair Career and Technology Center director, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Several acclaimed Midwest entertainers will take the stage for the evening.

Comedian Chad Thornsberry grew up in rural Missouri has not only written for ESPN and NFL networks but also does standup for corporate and foundation audiences and is featured on DryBar Comedy.

P3 Jazz Trio is comprised of brothers Nick (drums) and Max (bass) Penichet and Forrest Fowler (guitar). Nick and Max studied music at Ottawa University and have been playing professionally since 2007.

Big Time Grain Co is a rising country band started by “two farm raised, down to earth brothers from western Kansas,” Bret and Chad Bourquin. Their band has opened for Big and Rich, Luke Combs, and Travis Tritt and more than 30 other headliners and was chosen to perform at the Royal’s Baseball World Series Celebration at Union Station for more than 800,000 fans.

“We are so excited about the foundation’s gala this year,” said Dr. Joanna Anderson, SFCC president. “The cruise ship theme is sure to be very entertaining, and I am looking forward to wonderful food and enjoying an evening with the SFCC family and many community friends.”

The focus of this year’s benefit is to raise funds toward the construction of the Olen Howard Workforce Innovation Center that will more than double SFCC’s capacity in precision machining and welding, and expand other programs such as industrial maintenance, robotics, logistics, leadership/supervisory skills, and apprenticeships. The naming of the center is in honor of the late Sedalia businessman Olen Howard, whose family recently donated a significant amount to the foundation for the center.

That donation, along with a recent Community Development Block Grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development, will help fund construction of the center that will begin this year.

"Throughout SFCC’s history, the college has responded to workforce needs," said Mary Treuner, executive director of the SFCC Foundation.  “And the foundation is pleased to be a part of this exciting project that will provide tremendous career opportunities for our students and strengthen the workforce for businesses and industries throughout our region.

“The event committee has put in a lot of hard work planning this year’s gala, but it has also been fun, and we are all looking forward to hosting the Anchors Away Soirée and welcome old and new friends to join us for this worthy cause.”

Anchors Away Soirée tickets are $100 per person. Individuals, groups or businesses also may reserve tables of 10 for $1,000.

Cruise ship attire is suggested. Parking is available in front of the Davis Multipurpose Center.

Reservations are due by March 13. To reserve seats and buy spirits for guest tables, call the foundation at (660) 530-5811 or email Karen Simon at ksimon@sfccmo.edu. For more details, visit sfccmo.edu/anchorsaway.