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Krewe of the Mystic Martini

Amid the diamond tiaras of social giving, AIDS fundraisers and the annual arm-twisting of United Way campaigns are many smaller groups that raise money. One such group is a humble bunch of do-gooders known as the Krewe of the Mystic Martini. Although it's true Mardi Gras krewes meet for drink and merriment, the Mystic Martini raises Cain and cash -- for the needy. In February, the Mystic Martini held its first fundraiser and donated thousands to a battered-women's shelter in Granite City that a year earlier had had to shut down before Christmas. The fundraiser was unpretentious, and 100 percent of the proceeds went to charity. Considering some fundraisers spend more money proportionally on the party than the charity, it's refreshing to find a small group with sound priorities. For info on the February 2002 fundraiser, e-mail

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