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Student scholarships the focus of April 2 Blues and White Gala

Gala Auction Items
Displaying some of the items to be auctioned at the gala are (from left) Chancellor Dr. Francis Achampong; the Nittany Lion; Pam Moore, co-chair of the auction committee; and Lori Omatick, director for development at the Fayette campus and gala chair.
3/15/2011 —

The third annual Blues and White Gala scholarship fundraiser is scheduled for April 2 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa in Farmington, Pa. In its two-year history, the gala has raised nearly $60,000 to fund scholarships for students attending Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.

Lori Omatick, director for development at the Fayette campus and gala chair, commented that, “The work we are doing here is so very important because 90 percent of Penn State Fayette students qualify for financial aid. The generosity of supporters of this event helps to provide a quality education to those who otherwise may not be able to afford it.”

The event’s mistress of ceremonies will be Sally Wiggin, WTAE-TV news anchor and co-host for Pittsburgh Steelers pre-game shows. One of the evening’s highlights will be the recognition of the annual “Friend of Penn State Fayette.” This year’s honoree is The Eberly Foundation.

The feature activities of the Blues and White Gala are the silent and live auctions, which helped raise the nearly $60,000 over the first two years of the event. This year sports fans will again be interested in several of the auction packages. Items at this year’s auction include: four Pittsburgh Steelers luxury box tickets to the Cleveland or Cincinnati (auction winner’s choice) 2011 home game with pre-game sideline passes; a Brett Keisel autographed Steelers jersey; a Rashard Mendenhall autographed football helmet; a Paul Martin autographed Penguins jersey; a round of golf at Nemacolin Woodlands’ Mystic Rock golf course, complete with a golf lesson for four; a weekend package for two at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa; four tickets to a 2011-2012 Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre performance, with a backstage tour plus two tickets to “Balanchine Legends” next month and a signed pair of pointe shoes; four tickets to Penn State University versus Indiana State football game at University Park on Sept. 3; Joe Paterno autographed football and “JoePa” cardboard standup; fine art from local artists, including a landscape by well-known artist and Penn State Fayette faculty member David DiPietro; and much more.

Of course, the gala will feature dining and dancing. Musical entertainment will be by the band Finesse. This “super-band” has been performing in the tri-state area for 15 years. Gala attendees will enjoy the band’s unique sound with its dynamic horn and rhythm section and powerful vocals.

The Blues and White Gala was the initiative of the late Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel I. Osagie, who died unexpectedly in March 2010. The funds raised from the 2009 and 2010 galas have awarded scholarships to more than 30 Penn State Fayette students.

Key sponsors of this year’s gala to-date include: W. Gerald and Carolyn Eberly Blaney, Mr. and Mrs. Brian W. Boyle/Uniontown Country Club, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa, 84 Lumber Company, Centra Bank, Alpha Natural Resources, BAE Systems, and Percy Road Housing/University Commons.

The gala begins at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour and dinner at 6:30 p.m. R.S.V.P.s for the Blues and White Gala are being taken through March 25. For more information, to receive an invitation or make reservations, call 724-430-4190.

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