Student scholarships the focus of May 11 Blues and White Gala
The fifth annual Blues and White Gala scholarship fundraiser is scheduled for May 11 at Horizon Point in Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa. The theme of this year’s gala is “Blues and White Gala: Tropical Style."
Lori Omatick, director of Development at the Fayette campus and gala chair, commented that, “The planning committee, comprised of volunteers from the campus and greater community, has been working hard to make this year’s fifth anniversary event extra special. Guests can look forward to being ‘carried away’ with the sights, sounds, and taste of a tropical paradise in the beautiful indoor/outdoor setting of Horizon Point.”
One highlight of the evening will be the recognition of the annual “Friends of Penn State.” This year’s honorees will be Terry and Denise McMillen in appreciation of their campus support and involvement throughout the years. Terry McMillen is co-chair for the Future Capital Campaign committee and a member of the campus advisory board. He has also been honored as a past recipient of the outstanding alumnus award as well as a former commencement speaker. Terry McMillen is a former engineering instructor of the Penn State Fayette campus. Terry and Denise are credited with the creation of both an award in engineering and a trustee scholarship.
Mistress of Ceremonies for the gala will be Sally Wiggin, WTAE-TV anchor. The feature activities of the Blues and White Gala are the silent and live auctions, which, along with sponsorships and ticket-sales, helped to raise $140,000 over the past four years of the event.
Offerings at this year’s auction include some unique items, such as a one-of-a-kind Penn State “Paws” handmade quilt and an adventure package from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Other items include four Pittsburgh Steelers luxury box tickets to a 2013 home game with pre-game sideline passes; a Brett Keisel autographed Steelers football jersey; a Matt Cooke autographed Penguins hockey jersey; a Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Weekend Getaway for two; original artwork by local artist David DiPietro; a Hines Ward autographed miniature football helmet; a five autographed album set including Fabian, Lou Christie, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Pure Gold and the Drifters; a one-of-a-kind poster signed by Larry the Cable Guy and Reno Collier; Pirates tickets and basket; Penn State fan basket; and gift certificates for restaurants, golf and more.
The gala will feature dining and dancing. Cocktail hour musical entertainment will feature steel drum music by "Island Sounds by Phil." The evening continues with a tropical-inspired menu, with items including smoky island-style fish dip, shrimp scampi pizza, spice roasted mahi mahi, spicy grilled Jamaican jerk chicken, and an array of options at the island dessert station. Following dinner, guests will have the opportunity to dance to the music of local rock band Abacus Jones, who will perform an array of crowd favorites with a tropical twist.
Major sponsors for the gala include: W. Gerald and Carolyn Blaney, Penn State Fayette Advisory Board; CRH Catering; Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; CONSOL Energy, Inc.; Ford Business Machines, Inc.; and United Bank.
“The significance of the event is that one-hundred percent of the proceeds is awarded directly to students in need for the coming academic year. The gala’s guests and sponsors can take great satisfaction in knowing that their support helps to make possible a quality Penn State education for those who might otherwise not be able to afford it,” said Omatick. Currently, 90 percent of Penn State Fayette students qualify for financial aid.
The gala begins at 5:00 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 May 3. For more information, to receive an invitation or make reservations, call 724-430-4190.
Abacus Jones members (from the left) Tony Materkowski, Jason Cursi, and Joe Materkowski.