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Good food and red shoes at the Red Shoe Crawl

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Sacramento Ronald McDonald House fans have an opportunity to show their support by donning red shoes at the Second Annual Red Shoe Crawl that will be held June 26.

Crawlers will begin at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, wandering around J and L streets at their own pace to enjoy the delicacies of Midtown and downtown Sacramento.

Proceeds from ticket purchases will benefit the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House and Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake charities.

The Sheraton will provide the first selection of food by Executive Chef Russell Michel, of both the Sheraton and Morgan’s Central Valley Bistro.

“We are working to create a great local taste,” Michel said “We always want to surprise guests.”

This year’s menu is still being finalized. Last year crawlers got to sample Chef Russell Michel’s tomato basil tartlet with goat cheese and chorizo empanadas with chipotle aioli topped off with sangria and Shirley temples.

“There are going to be 500 people,” he added. “We will be their first impression of the event, and making sure we are successful is the way to giving people a positive experience.”

Michel said he and the folks at the Sheraton Grand want to help the Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a great day of entertainment while benefiting the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House and Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake.

Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake provides a week-long program of fun and educational activities such as fishing, hiking, environmental awareness and swimming to children with disabilities and disadvantages, as well as a respite for parents.

“It’s a good cause,” Michel said about the Red Shoe Crawl. “Kids are precious, and focusing on them and their families through this fundraiser is a great way to support them.”

Last year, the first Red Shoe Crawl event raised more than $30,000. “It would be nice to double that number this year,” said Stacey Hodge, director of community relations at the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House.

Crawlers will step out into the streets of Sacramento, and there they will delve into the food and drink choices the restaurants will have to offer.

More than a dozen of Sacramento’s most popular eateries will provide each participant with an appetizer-sized meal and one alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink.

Rubicon Brewing Company will serve full-size beers, and Yogurtagogo will show off its flair with unlimited yogurt.

“For last year’s event, Buckhorn Grill provided tri-tip sandwiches and salads,” Hodge said. “All of the restaurants also did special drinks that were fun and different. There was everything from sangria to blackberry margaritas. It is a surprise to see the food that the restaurants will provide.”

General Manager Dominic Sirianni of Lucca Restaurant and Bar said he enjoys participating in such charity events.

“This year, Lucca Restaurant and Bar will provide a (red wine dish) of meatballs with a creamy polenta marinara sauce served with a choice of red or white wine, such as a Chardonnay,” Sirianni said.

In addition to the full afternoon, this year’s event will be spiced up with an after party from 5 – 7 p.m. held at the L Wine Lounge, located at 1801 L St.

Warning: Eat wisely. Attendees who have room in their stomachs to eat at 10 of the participating restaurants will be entered into a contest at the after party.

Each guest will be given a badge at registration that can be punched at each of the locations that they visit. One restaurant is one punch. They will turn the badge in at the after party where their name will be entered for a chance to win 2 free flights anywhere Southwest Airlines flies.

There will also be a silent auction at the after party selling spa packages, travel and movie tickets, and more. Music entertainment will be provided by local band Dog Party.

In honor of Ronald McDonald’s trademark footwear, the event is appropriately named the Red Shoe Crawl.

“Everyone wore red shoes last year: men, women, kids,” Hodge said. “There were even a few women wearing high heels all day.”

This year, the charity will be selling red flip-flops for those who forget their red shoes or decide they want relief after four hours of walking in high heels.

“The event began as the Red Shoe Ball,” Hodge said. “It was a black-tie gala, but we wanted something family-friendly.”

Only one of two major fundraisers for the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House and Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake, employees and volunteers said they hope to see its popularity increase to the level of the Golf Classic – a 15-year-old tournament that sells out every year.

Sacramento Ronald McDonald House, aided by several thousand active volunteers and dedicated employees, provides services, such as housing and food for a week, to families whose children are being treated in the Sacramento-area hospitals.

Hodge said the proceeds of the event pay for overhead expenses of both sites such as utility bills and maintenance materials.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities relies heavily on the goodwill of others,” Hodge said. “Despite the big name attached to the charity house, McDonald’s provides only 17 percent of the operating costs. Income comes mainly from community donations and corporate sponsors.

“Last year, we provided 300 tickets, and the event was one hour shorter” Hodge said. “We increased to 500 this year, and as of right now, there are only about 50 left.”

The cost of the $50 ticket goes up to $75 the day of the event.

“The Red Shoe Crawl is a great way to sport their red shoes on a Sunday afternoon,” Hodge said. “(People can) visit restaurants they’ve never been to and visit with friends while supporting a great cause.”

The Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel is located at 1230 J St. The crawl goes from 1 – 5 p.m. For more information, click here.

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