Don't Go There 

The Metropolitan Interfaith Association (MIFA) is currently holding its annual No-Go Gala. Now in its 22nd year, this "non-event" is for those who'd rather stay home than attend yet another lavish fund-raising affair. MIFA provides a themed activity, which participants can do on their own. After "no-going," participants are asked to donate to the nonprofit organization, which provides countless services to Memphians in need.

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"You don't have to get dressed up or hire a babysitter," explains MIFA development associate Thomas Robinson Jr. "We come up with the fun."

Another upside of the No-Go is that all proceeds go directly to MIFA's programs, rather than toward the expenses of a costly affair.

Last year, the theme was a treasure hunt. For 2009, it's "Cookin' Up Change." Hosts, all of whom are active in the organization, have been recruited to provide recipes that are posted online. No-Go-ers who give to MIFA — suggested donation is between $25 and $200 — receive the 15-recipe cookbook, which was printed cost-free to the organization by Paulsen Printing Company.

Among the hosts are the Brushmark's Wally Joe, Andrew Adams, and Stacy Wright, who provided a recipe for bacon-wrapped pork loin as well as "MIFA ice," and Muddy's Bake Shop owner Kat Gordon, who chipped in with a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie with crumble topping. Donors also are encouraged to post their own recipes to the online cookbook.

According to Robinson, roughly 300 have already "not been" to the event, giving $40,000 toward this year's $65,000 goal.

The No-Go Gala benefiting MIFA runs through the next couple of months. For more information, go to mifa.org.

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