The first day of spring seemed more like the first day of winter as snow fell from the sky. Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Chestnut Ridge helped to set up the Indiana Country Club for their annual “Paint the County Red” Gala. The evening included door prizes, silent and live auction items generously donated by area businesses and individuals.
On Friday, March 20, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., nearly 200 sponsors, donors, and volunteers joined the night’s festivities, which raised nearly $57,000. As they entered the ballroom, guests surveyed all of the incredible prizes including: a 3-night stay at a private Seven Springs Mountain Resort condo, a romantic two-night stay at Seneca Allegany Casino, overnight accommodations at the Hotel Hershey with breakfast, a Kindle Fire electronic tablet, tickets to several Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, and jewelry from Luxenberg’s Jewelers to name a few.
Dinner began around 6:30 p.m., while Mark Bertig, Vice President and General Manager of Renda Broadcasting, greeted everyone as the emcee for the Gala. David Chaek, owner of a photography studio in Blairsville who recently lost his home to a fire, was the guest of honor. He spoke in an American Red Cross video, explaining the fire and the help of the Red Cross to get back on his feet again.
After a few door prizes were given out and the silent auction ended, the room became silent as a tribute slideshow played in honor of Harry McFarland. He was a volunteer extraordinaire leader with the American Red Cross for over 20 years and left behind a legacy. Many remembered a story or two about Mr. McFarland and shared those memories with their table. Over $2,600 was raised in this appeal the night of the event, and community members are encouraged to continue to support this appeal by going to http://www.crowdrise.com/HonorHarryMcfarland to make a credit card donation.
The live auction took place near the end of the night with entertainment provided by Cathleen Ireland and the Five6 concluding the evening. Dana Bauer, executive director of the American Red Cross of Chestnut Ridge, said, “We are very pleased at the outstanding show of support from local businesses, volunteers and donors…In the first eight months of this year, we have served more people for disaster response and recovery and provided more direct financial assistance in Indiana County than we did all of last year.”
All proceeds from the event will help the Red Cross prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Many thanks to these local businesses for their support of the 2015 "Paint the County Red" gala fundraising event:
Triple Platinum Sponsors - NRG Energy (Homer City, Seward, Conemaugh and Keystone Stations);
Diamond Sponsors – Robindale Energy Services, Force Incorporated, The Reschini Group, and First Commonwealth Bank.
Special Recognition – Luxenberg’s Jewelers.