BY RUTH RICE
Fairy tales will come to life at an upcoming fundraiser for a local hospital.
“Once Upon a Time,” the annual gala presented by the auxiliary to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 17 at Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Westmont.
“We’ll have an enchanted forest,” said Sally Hill of Westmont, who is co-chairing the event with Kathy Gorzelsky and Nancy Abrahams, both of Westmont.
“Members of the senior troupe of Johnstown Concert Ballet will lend the right atmosphere by portraying fairy-tale characters.”
The proceeds from this year’s gala will go toward the da Vinci Surgical System Campaign.
“It’s already being used for operations like a gallbladder,” Hill said.
“It’s not for everything. The surgeon is in charge of the operation, guiding the small instruments to do the work.
“It’s cutting edge. The surgical residency program is getting educated on what it can do. It will become the standard of care.”
Hill explained that about 80 percent of the proceeds will go toward the surgical system and the remainder will be used for scholarships and smaller grants.
“This is our major fundraiser for the year,” she added.
Flood City Brass will provide dinner and dance music.
The Johnstown band features male and female lead vocalists, keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, sax and trombone.
Lead vocalists are Tom Pavic and Natalie Kurchak.
Other band members are Luis Gonzalez III on keyboards; Randy Rutherford on lead guitar, sax and trombone; Andy Heinze on bass; John Homerski Jr. on drums; Dan Perich on lead trumpet and flugelhorn; Jen Shuty on sax and flute; and Jim Bilitski on trombone, sax and guitar.
Known for its horn section, the band plays a variety of rock, soul, funk, ballads, pop, rhythm and blues, dance favorites and swing or polka.
The band has played in Johnstown, Pittsburgh, Altoona, Somerset, Greensburg, Ligonier, State College, northern Maryland and Morgantown, W.Va.
The event will feature live and silent auctions.
Live auction items will include trips to the Grammy Awards and the Master’s golf tournament in Augusta, Ga.; golf outings; a wine dinner; and an evening of music performed by the Laurel String Quartet.
“I think nonprofits should help each other,” Hill said.
“It’s a great cooperative effort.”
Silent auction items will include gift certificates, jewelry, “The Gathering of Friends” cookbooks and baskets, including one featuring “The Fairy Tale Cookbook.”
Dr. and Mrs. William Carney will serve as honorary co-chairs of this year’s gala.
“They’ve always been supportive of the gala,” Hill said.
Tickets for the gala are $125 per person, and seating is limited.
Those who wish to attend should call the auxiliary office at 534-5985 by Tuesday.
Hill said neither black tie nor fairy-tale costumes are required to attend the event, but there will probably be a combination of both.
“We want everyone to be comfortable and not think they can’t attend because they don’t have a tux,” Hill said.
Organizations or businesses interested in contributing to the gala at the sponsorship level or donating an item for the silent or live auction also should contact the auxiliary office.
What: “Once Upon a Time,” gala presented by auxiliary to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.
When: 6 p.m. Nov. 17.
Where: Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Westmont.
Tickets: $125 per person.
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