The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 13, 2013

Auxiliary's 'Under the Sea' gala will benefit hospital

JOHNSTOWN — Going under the ocean will prove to be a magic potion for “Under the Sea,” the annual gala presented by the auxiliary to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.

The fundraiser will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 at Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive in Westmont.

“When guests arrive, they’ll be on the beach, and when they come into the ballroom, they’ll be under the sea,” said Kathy Gorzelsky of Westmont, who along with Charlene Trimeloni of Richland Township and Beverly Poole of Westmont are co-chairwomen of the event.

The underwater effects in the ballroom will be made by special lighting and blue drapery fabric, bubbles, fish and coral hung from the ceiling.

“Everything will give the feeling of being underwater,” Gorzelsky said.

“There will be steel drums playing before they get to the ballroom to give the feeling of arriving off a ship to a tropical island.”

After dessert, the boardwalk will open, and guests will find their favorite treats such as taffy and fudge.

Guests will be able to find their treasure in a variety of silent and live auction items.

Silent auction items can be bid on throughout the evening, and live auction items will be available for bidding after dessert.

Music will begin between 8:30 and 9 with the local band The Boomers.

“We had them in 2011, and everyone danced all evening,” Gorzelsky said.

“For the past couple of years, we’ve been trying to get local groups because we feel it’s important to use local talent.”

The group’s song list goes from “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer to “Your Mama Don’t Dance” by Loggins & Messina.

Band members are Dave Nichols on guitar, John Stevens on drums, John Koeck on keyboards and vocals and Bob Helbig on bass and vocals.

In the past, the largest annual fundraiser for the auxiliary has helped to provide funding toward a palliative care unit, expansion of the cardiac catheterization lab, addition of six digital mammography units throughout Cambria and Somerset counties and the purchase of the Da Vinci surgical system robot.

This year, the auxiliary has pledged support toward the purchase of a new intensive care monitoring system, which will be installed over the coming weeks.

“We’ve been told by the nurses this is the most used piece of equipment,” said Gorzelsky, who works as an employee engagement consultant in the human resources department at Conemaugh Health System.

“Every patient in intensive care is put on the monitors for blood pressure, heart and oxygen rates. This is a sophisticated clinical tool. It will be a benefit to those we serve. We’ve been blessed in the projects we’ve been able to help with.”

Mike Smith of Laurel Auto Group, and his wife, Sassy, will serve as honorary co-chairs of this year’s gala.

“We’re so honored they accepted the role,” Gorzelsky said.

Tickets for the gala are $125 per person, and the ticket deadline is Nov. 13.


What: “Under the Sea,” annual gala of auxiliary to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.

When: 6 p.m. Nov. 23.

Where: Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Westmont.

Tickets: $125.

Information: 534-5985.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at


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