Heather Still and Kim Owens enjoy the fun atmosphere and music at The Smith Group Tax and Wealth Advisors 2013 Mardi Gras party. This year's event, to benefit CanHope and the Children's Place, will be March 22 at Newberry Hall.

The Smith Group Tax and Wealth Advisors will hold its 13th-annual Mardi Gras Party on March 22 at Newberry Hall.

This year’s event will benefit CanHope and Children’s Place Inc. and feature authentic Cajun cuisine and a Big Easy atmosphere, complete with party music from The Headliners.

The event's organizers said it's an opportunity to “put on your purple, green and gold and 'laissez les bons temps rouler,' or let the good times roll, for a good cause.”

“My husband, Carl, is a native of Louisiana, and we love sharing his Cajun heritage,” said Pearline Smith, a co-owner of The Smith Group. “Hosting this event allows us to combine two of our favorite things, celebrating Mardi Gras and raising money for great causes.”

The Smith Group hopes to raise $20,000 from the event, Smith said.

“The Smith Group has been a wonderful friend to Children’s Place,” Children’s Place Director Peggy Ford said. “We are so very thankful for their continued support and generosity.”

Georgina Riley of CanHope said, “We are grateful to be able to reach out to more cancer patients in our community to provide CanHope services, and that is possible because of supporters like The Smith Group.”

From the bite-size boudin balls and masks and beads for guests to the jambalaya and festive atmosphere, the event will be very much like experiencing the real Mardi Gras revelry in New Orleans, Smith said, adding she and her husband “are working hard to ensure every detail befits the true celebration and that the experience is as authentic as possible.”

“We’ve been to Mardi Gras more times than we can count, and we know first-hand what makes it exciting,” Carl Smith said. “Our goal is to offer that same amazing experience for our guests right here in Aiken.”

The party will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour featuring hurricanes and Cajun appetizers. The Headliners will take the stage at 7 p.m., and a dinner buffet featuring New Orleans favorites will be served.

Tickets are $60 per person in advance or $70 at the door. The cost includes appetizers, dinner, dessert, beer, wine and hurricanes.

For tickets, call 803-649-5433 or email

CanHope is a community-based, nonprofit organization that provides education, support and resources to fight cancer. Their programs and services are available to residents of Aiken, Edgefield, Barnwell and Allendale counties.

Children’s Place Inc., a United Way of Aiken County agency, works with children and families to protect, heal and strengthen them from the impact of trauma in their lives through education, treatment and prevention services. Children can be referred to Children’s Place because of behavior problems, developmental difficulties and abuse or neglect.

In addition to The Smith Group, the event's sponsors are Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Aiken Professional Associates, Concept HR, Castleland Cotton, KICKS 99, Maxwell Law Firm, Southern Carolina Construction and University Health Care Medical Oncology of Augusta.

Want to go?

WHAT: Mardi Gras Party

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22

WHERE: Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St.

COST: Tickets are $60 in advance, $70 at the door

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 803-649-5433 or email

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.