Washougal, WA — Tickets are now available for an event that raises money to help bring a new library to downtown Washougal.
The riverside event—modeled after the original “Diner en Blanc” started in Paris 30 years ago—brings people together to celebrate in all-white attire ranging from casual to elegant, to raise money for the Washougal Library Building Fund.
The Washougal Library was built in 1978 to support the needs of 1,500 residents and must be updated and expanded to meet the needs of Washougal’s growing population.
Rachael Ries, branch manager of the Washougal Community Library, says, “A library is an important cornerstone in our community because it provides training, resources, and education that encourage imagination, uncover options, and create possibility.”
Rick Smithrud, executive director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation, reports the FVRL District has earmarked $1 million from its capital reserves for a new library in Washougal, and $153,000 has been raised by local donations and fundraising efforts by The Friends of the Washougal Community Library.
An anonymous donor has agreed to provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $5,000 for donations pledged during this year’s Dinner in White.
Attendees bring their own food, plates, serving ware, white napkins, and all-white table decorations. Tables, chairs, and white tablecloths are provided.
A catered meal option is available from a collaboration between local businesses, Foods in Season and Lenny’s Smokehouse and Catering. Salmon, pork, vegetarian lasagna, various sides, and a brownie bar will be offered.
Sparkling wine, craft beer, wine, and mixed drinks will be available to purchase. Guests may not bring alcohol to the event.
The fun begins with attendees decorating their tables followed by the traditional “waving of the white napkin,” dinner at 6 pm, dancing to DJ’d music, and a silent auction.
Prizes will be awarded for “Best Dressed Man,” “Best Dressed Woman,” “Best Dressed Couple,” and “Best Table Decoration.”
Four local artists will paint on-site, and their original art work will be auctioned at the event. The artists include Liz Pike, Tamra Sheline, Heidi Jo Curley, and Kasia Teegarden.
Jeffree White, founder of the Washougal School of Music, will play acoustic stringed instruments.
Author Holly Jones will be available to sign her books, “I Want Everyone to Like Me,” and “I Want Everyone to Love Me,” which are based off her experience growing up in Washougal during the nineties.
The first “Camas in White” was held in 2013 in Downtown Camas and benefited the Camas Mural Project. The event was moved to Marina Park in 2016.
Terri London, planning committee chairwoman, says, “Dinner in White is more than a fundraiser, it’s an experience. Local residents and business sponsors come together for an evening of friendship, creativity, great food, music, and so much more. The sea of white tables and guests all decked out in white and dining on the shore of the Columbia River is a sight to behold.”
“Over the years, three generations of London’s have enjoyed the library and now the fourth generation of London’s look forward to a new library. It’s an honor to be a part of this local event and to help raise funds for our new Washougal Library.”
Event organizers have secured 22 sponsors so far. Ryan McDonald, owner of McDonald Excavating says, “As a small local company, we feel it is our duty to give back to a community that has supported us. Washougal is in dire need of a library with updated services and technology that can support our growing community. This is a fun way to donate and get involved.”
General admission tickets for Dinner in White on the Columbia are $30 per person. A deluxe ticket with a catered meal is $70 per person. A reserved table of eight is $300. A deluxe reserved table of eight with a catered meal is $620. Attendees must be 21 years or older.