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Sept. 9 is your chance to support local state parks while having a really good time. Once a year, the Central Coast Natural History Association throws a party to raise money for parks and programs from San Simeon to Pismo Beach. This year's celebration is a Royal Secret Safari a formal event that will take place at four secret locations around the county. The night begins with appetizers and champagne at a location to be announced. Attendees will be chauffeured by bus or limo to an unknown destination with chardonnay and catering by NOVO. The third locale features a pork tenderloin or vegetarian entr»e and a local Pinot Noir. Then comes dessert: Guests will be taken to a final location with more wine, coffee, chocolate cake, and an auction with amazing items. Seriously. Check out front-row seats at the Natural History Museum for Morro Bay's fireworks extravaganza next year. Or a private swim at Hearst Castle. The dress code is royal from the ankles up, so break out your tuxes, gowns, and tiaras but wear your flip-flops. Prizes will be given for the best-dressed king and queen, so dress to impress. And leave the kiddies at home. Tickets start at $125, and all the money raised stays local. For more information about prizes, prices, and the menu, contact Denise Tallman at 772-2694, Ext. 101.

During the month of September, the Food Bank of SLO needs donations for its fledgling BackPack Program, which seeks to provide food (and backpacks) to lower-income students on weekends. Hunger is a huge issue for many students. Monday through Friday, it's addressed with school lunch programs. Come Saturday and Sunday, however, those same students who receive school lunches have no nutritious options. The SLO food bank has received a grant that will allow it to provide between seven and 10 pounds of packaged, low-sugar weekend meals and snacks for up to 100 students for one year. Many more children could benefit from this program if the funding were there. The food bank is looking for monetary donations from both corporate and private sponsors for this project. As always, it's accepting donations of food and money for other organizations it supports. For more info, call 238-4664 or visit www.slofoodbank.org.

New Times contributor Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to kvelie@newtimesslo.com.

 

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