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Celebrity Chef Michael Symon Will Lead Saint Martin's Gala Celebration

"Michael's marvelous sense of humor and fun, combined with the high standards he holds himself to when it comes to his craft, will bring Marcus Pavilion to life and no doubt inspire our guests and the many students who volunteer at the Gala," adds Armandino Batali, a Saint Martin's alumnus who has served as Gala co-chair since 2011. "We are eager to welcome Michael to Saint Martin's and share with him our rich Benedictine tradition of hospitality."

As much a philanthropist as a chef, Symon lends his culinary skills to charitable projects close to his heart. He hosted the annual Farm Aid benefit concert in 2010, becoming the first chef ever to do so. Autism Speaks, Share Our Strength and Cleveland's Urban Community Schools have also enjoyed Symon's support.

"There is a wonderful congruence between Michael's generous philanthropic spirit and our commitment to building scholarship funds through the Gala," says Heynderickx. "We will not stop in our quest to ensure the excellent education taking place at Saint Martin's is available to as many deserving students as possible, regardless of their economic situation."

Last year's Gala, featuring chef Guy Fieri, proved to be a record-setting fundraiser for the University, raising more than $700,000, while generating more than $190,000 alone from the Feed-A-Mind paddle raise for student scholarships.

The 2013 Gala co-chairs are Armandino '59 and Marilyn Batali, and Rick and Pam Panowicz. The presenting sponsor is Bon Appetit Management Company.

Individual ticket and select table sales open to the public May 1. Individual tickets for the event are $400 and tables range from $3,500 to $50,000. Availability of individual tickets will be limited; those who plan to purchase tickets are encouraged to coordinate with others in advance to buy a table. Tables at the $5,000 to $50,000 level are available now as are sponsorship opportunities. For more information about table sales and sponsorships, contact Rosanne Nichols, vice president of institutional advancement at Saint Martin's University, at 360-412-6138 or rnichols@stmartin.edu.

For more details about the Saint Martin's 2013 Gala, visit the event website at www.stmartin.edu/gala or contact Saint Martin's University Office of Institutional Advancement at 360-486-8885 or gala@stmartin.edu.

Join the conversation! Follow the buzz about Saint Martin's Gala on Twitter using the hashtag #SMUGala.

For more information about Michael Symon, visit lolabistro.com.

Saint Martin's University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin's University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin's welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin's University website at www.stmartin.edu.

Contacts:

Rosanne NicholsVice president of institutional advancement360-412-6138; rnichols@stmartin.edu

Jennifer FellingerVice president of marketing and communications360-438-4332; jfellinger@stmartin.edu

SOURCE Saint Martin's University

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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