The spirit of French beauty and decadence makes its way into the convention center at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday for the 30th annual Gourmet Gala.
Under the theme “Springtime in Paris,” more than 40 local restaurants present sumptuous appetizers, entrees and desserts for the major fundraiser that benefits Ronald McDonald House of Scranton.
Organizers set a goal of $80,000 this year, which will fund the house at 332 Wheeler Ave., Scranton, plus satellite rooms in three area
hospitals that provide respite for families of pediatric patients.
Picture Perfect Band provides entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m., and the casino offers free valet parking for guests. Admission is $45 at the door, which grants guests access to a wide variety of samples from area eateries.
Waverly Twp. resident Kathy Nelson co-chairs the event this year with Peggy Hennemuth and expects upward of 1,000 people to attend. Nelson worked on the annual fundraiser for the last four years, first by rounding up restaurants to participate and then by taking on a greater role with Ronald McDonald House after she toured the Scranton home.
“Once I did that, I was hooked. It’s a great cause,” Nelson said. “They help families really when they need it most.”
The Parisian theme came to mind in light of a trip to France she made with her husband a few years back.
“I loved it. First of all, it’s a beautiful city, and from what I hear, springtime there is spectacular,” she said. “Spring, to me, is a season of hope, so that’s kind of what we’re looking for.”
To bring Paris to Northeast Pennsylvania, she hired designer John Mackey to transform the event space with flowers and decorations. Nelson also reverted back to the original floor plan of years past, which makes room for several aisles of vendors and offers better traffic flow. Last year’s setup didn’t work as well for guests, she said, so she hopes they’ll return to enjoy the redesigned pattern, which also includes two entrances.
Mostly, she and Hennemuth look forward to seeing (and tasting) the creative ways restaurants interpret the theme.
“There will be a little bit of everything,” Nelson said. “Some really get into it. They often dress up and make it fun.”
— patrice wilding


If you go
What: “Springtime in Paris” — 30th annual Ronald McDonald House Gourmet Gala
When: Sunday, 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: Mohegan Sun Pocono,
1280 Route 315, Plains Twp.
Details: Admission is $45 at the door, or call 570-969-8998 for tickets. For more information, visit


Restaurants Include:
• A Little Pizza Heaven
• Angelo’s Italian Ristorante
• Ambers Restaurant & Bar
• Andy Gavin’s Eatery & Pub
• Arcaro & Genell
• Bazil Ristorante Italiano
• BBQ by Barry’s B3Q Smokehouse
• Bartolai Winery
• Bella Faccias Personalized
Chocolates & Gifts
• Cafe Rinaldi
• Camelot Restaurant & Inn
• Constantino’s Catering & Events
• Cooper’s Seafood House
• Cusumano
• Down Home Rice Pudding
• Edible Arrangements
• Fire and Ice on Toby Creek
• The French Manor:
Pocono Bed & Breakfast
• Gerrity’s Supermarkets
• Gertrude Hawk Chocolates
• Glider Restaurant
• Harvest Seasonal Grill
& Wine Bar
• Holiday Inn Wilkes-Barre —
East Mountain
• Isabella Restaurant and Bar
• La Buona Vita
• LongHorn Steakhouse
• Loose Moose Cottage
at Great Wolf Lodge
• Manning Farm Dairy
• Market Street Bar & Grill
• McDonald’s restaurants
of Greater Scranton
• Mendicino’s Italian Specialities
• Moses Taylor Hospital Culinary
• Nibbles & Bits
• Nimble Hill Vineyard & Winery
• Nosh
• Olde Brook Inn
• Peggy’s Wing Sauce
• P.J. Brown’s Restaurant
• Pocono Provisions
• POSH at the Scranton Club
• Rustic Kitchen
• Ruth’s Chris Steak House
• State Street Grill
• Stirna’s Restaurant
• Terra Preta
• Truly Scrumptious
• Villa Maria II
• Wolfgang Puck Express

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