Fundraisers: Imaginative Galas

Courtesy of Wayne Peters

Ring in the New Year, then celebrate Twelfth Night with period costumes and dancing amid all sorts of other winter fun that will keep your heart warm while you support our local educational, cultural, and healthcare treasures.


Annual New Year’s Eve Gala and Fundraiser
Beneficiary: WNY Book Arts Collaborative
9 p.m., Monday, December 31; 2 a.m., Tuesday, January 1, at WNYBAC’s building at 468 Washington St. Tickets: $70 for WNYBAC members and $80 for nonmembers; call Eric Jackson-Forsberg at 348-1430 or check out
Ring in the New Year by watching the Electric Tower ball drop from the Book Art Center’s second floor. Enjoy a night of tasty and tasteful hors d’oeuvres, live music, a silent art auction, complimentary beer, wine, and a champagne toast at midnight—all while contributing to WNYBAC’s goal of becoming a self-sustaining center for print and book arts in Buffalo. All proceeds from this event directly contribute to the growth and success of the organization.

Twelfth Night Ball
Beneficiary: Old Fort Niagara
7–11:15 p.m., Saturday, January 5, at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown. Tickets: $40 (presale only); call Jerome Brubaker 745-7611 or visit
Come to Old Fort Niagara and party like it’s 1799. The final celebration of the holiday season in Europe and the colonies was Twelfth Night, said to be the night when the Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem. This fundraiser includes period dancing, music, refreshments, and games, all by the light of candles and lanterns. Guests will take part in English country dancing (instruction provided) to traditional music, and festive treats that were popular during the 1770s. And don’t dilly-dally about getting your tickets, either—they always sell out.

Journey to a Cure—A Spark of Imagination Gala
Beneficiary: JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
5:30–11 p.m., Saturday, January 26, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Two Fountain Plaza. Tickets: $225 per person; call Alex Kobza at 833-0199 or go to
Over 700 guests are expected to be present for an evening of dazzling entertainment, great food, and fabulous auction items. The evening celebrates the wonders developed by the medical community—from doctors and nurses to inventors, scientists, researchers, and engineers—and the hope that a “Spark of Imagination” can be transformed into a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Mike and Susan Auricchio and their family will be receiving the “Inspirational Family” award that evening, and guests will have the opportunity to bid on a glittering array of live and silent auction items, including Super Bowl tickets, beautiful jewelry, and much more.

The Premier
Beneficiary:  Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
5:30 p.m.–midnight, Saturday, January 19, at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, Niagara Falls. Tickets: $225; call Cara Turner at 278-4570 or visit
Cochairs Dr. and Mrs. Komal Chandon, Russell Hurlburt, and John Percy will welcome guests to a lovely cocktail hour followed by a gourmet sit-down dinner and dancing to Grammy Award-winning artist (and Broadway star) Jon Secada. The evening will honor, among others, Dr. Michael Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health, and the nursing staffs of both NFMCC and the Schoellkopf Health Center for their service to the community.

Lights of Manhattan—The Lasallian Gala and Dinner Auction 2013
Beneficiary: St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute
5:30–11:30 p.m., Saturday, February 2, at St. Joe’s, 845 Kenmore Ave. Tickets: $150 per person; call Cathy Greene at 270-4117 or check out
Get into the fun in advance by purchasing “First Chance” raffle tickets at $50 each, or three for $125. The raffle will be held before the live auction and the winner can choose from a $3,500 St. Joe’s tuition voucher, one package from the auction, or a $2,500 cash prize. The highlight of the night’s décor will be floor-to-ceiling lighted murals of the Manhattan skyline, which are placed throughout the dining and party areas. This year’s chairs, Bob and Sue Kreppel, will be welcoming a special group of St. Joe’s alumni, who will be providing a “New York beat” at the beginning and end of the evening. All proceeds from this year’s event will provide critical funding for financial aid and academic scholarship in the Lasallian tradition of making quality education accessible to all qualified students.        



Terri Parsell Hilmey is a contributing editor to Spree’s Medical Resource Guide.

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