Every year, a unique event puts the spotlight on bourbon, cigars, food and everything Southern.

Bourbon & Bowties will be April 27 at Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

"This is our third year," says Guineverre Cutlip, director of development at Royce Learning Center. "All proceeds benefit Royce Learning Center, a nonprofit learning center serving children and adults.

"It is a fun evening at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. It is catered by Chef Nick Mueller, who incorporates bourbon into many of the items he creates.

"Tickets include heavy hors d'ouvres and two drink tickets," Cutlip says. "It also includes free trolley service, thanks to Old Savannah Tours."

The drink tickets can be used for any Savannah Bourbon cocktail. A full cash bar also will be available. Visitors can park in the Savannah Visitors Center at 301 MLK Jr. Blvd. and take a trolley to the museum to alleviate parking problems. The last shuttle will depart from Ships of the Sea at 10:15 p.m.

The night's music will be provided by Jacksonville's Chris Thomas Band.

"They've played at our event every year. They are very engaging and entertaining.

"They're great at getting the crowd to respond and participate," she says. "We had some people who said they were coming specifically because the Chris Thomas Band is playing."

Outside the museum, a cigar bar will be sponsored by Ye Ole Tobacco Shop. For those who want to play a game, there will be Wall of Chance.

"We're going to have paper cutout bowties you can purchase," Cutlip says. "Every one of them has a prize.

"A $25 bowtie guarantees $25-$50, $50 guarantees $50-$100, $100 guarantees $100 and up. The prizes include gift cards, a two-night stay at a bed and breakfast, golf - there are so many different prizes."

Another game called Heads or Tails will be played. Guests can purchase beads for $20 and will choose heads or tails during each round.

A coin will be flipped, and those who match the coin toss will advance to the next round. This will continue until there is only one person remaining, who is declared the winner.

Bidding for the live auction starts at $500. Prizes include a three-hour sunset cruise for up to 12 people aboard the Lonesome Dove V that includes beer, wine and light hors d'oeuvres.

Bourbon & Bowties is always fun, Cutlip says.

"The weather is always beautiful," she says. "It's a nice evening to come out and spend time with friends.

"It supports literacy for both children and adults, most of whom have learning disabilities," Cutlip says. "For some adult learners who never finished high school, they can now earn a GED and help their families. It's a win-win."


What: Bourbon & Bowties

When: 6:30-10:30 p.m. April 27

Where: Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, 41 MLK Jr. Blvd.

Cost: $75

Info: roycelearningcenter.org