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It was “Oh What a Night” at the Palatine Township Senior Center’s Las Vegas themed fundraising Gala

This Gala inaugurated the 40th Anniversary year and had all the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and an energizing Las Vegas Revue.

Guests arriving at The Cotillion for the Palatine Township Senior Citizens Council’s (PTSCC) 2013 Caring Hearts Gala, Destination Las Vegas: “What happens at the Gala, Stays at the Gala” February 16th, had all the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas and some of the best entertainment acts performed by some of PTSCC’s board, staff and volunteers in an energizing Las Vegas Revue.  This Gala inaugurated the 40th Anniversary year of the Palatine Township Senior Citizens Council that operates the Palatine Township Senior Center.  Guests entered “Las Vegas” by walking under the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign and were greeted by a life-sized cut-out of Marilyn Monroe.  Our “Las Vegas” was decorated with over-sized playing cards, dice, fake coins, a Frank Sinatra life-sized cutout and much more.

The evening began with a complimentary cocktail reception with hors d’ oeuvres, followed by a four-course dinner with wine, followed by ice cream and cake celebrating our 40th Anniversary and complimentary bar the remainder of the evening.  The Las Vegas Revue was a memorable part of the evening along with an excellent Live and Silent Auction and dancing to the music of Bopology rounded out the evening.

One highlight of the evening, for the crowd of nearly 200, was the video produced by Marktime Media, honoring our Guest of Honor, Mary Tarbit, of Palatine, who was given two standing ovations for her volunteerism as a home-delivered meals driver.  Mary is 90 years old and has been involved at the Senior Center for twenty years.  Mary said that she delivered 1,375 meals in 2012.  “It was very motivational to see Mary, at 90 years of age, going above and beyond.  Mary is a woman who is retired and is so committed to serving the seniors of Palatine Township and she accomplishes more in one day than most people do” said Diane Lancour, Program Director at PTSCC.  A reverse auction “donation” was taken for the Home Delivered Meals program.  If you are interested in donating for our Home Delivered Meals program please visit our website at www.ptscc.org.

Carol Reagan, PTSCC’s Executive Director shared that we have come a long way since 1973 when the Senior Center began in one room, with only one part-time staff person and 28 volunteers.  Now PTSCC is going strong with a 17,800+ sq. foot building, 7 full-time and 8 part-time staff, and 300 volunteers.

Gala Co-Chair, Laurie Stock coordinated the fabulous Las Vegas Revue with 6 acts emceed by John Mahler.  Acts included magic performed by Mr. Magic, Keith Williams and his lovely assistant Marla Shapiro-Gillen; Diane Iser lip syncing to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with Ann Vatch and Laurie Stock as her “Supremes”; Phyllis Benstein telling Rita Rudner jokes; and Web Eby, Bob Haas, Jorge Juarez and Tom Selof lip syncing and dancing to “December 1963 (Oh What a Night)”, by the Four Seasons.  Heating up the audience was Kevin Romejko, “Elvis”, lip-syncing to “Burning Love” along with his wife, Priscilla Presley played by Julie Selof, and his groupies, Karen Fay, Nancy Frenk, Sheila Schwartz, and Mary Szuch; followed by the finale “It’s Raining Men” sung by PTSCC’s very own Executive Director, Carol Reagan and her back up dancers, the “Magic Men”, Web Eby, Bob Haas, Steve Haas, Jorge Juarez, Mel Quinn, and Tom Selof.  “It was a good blend of entertainment and motivation,” said Diane Lancour, Program Director at PTSCC.

C. Norman Andrews, our noted auctioneer did a great job showcasing our live auction items.  Guests bid on items “that were no gamble”, such as a week in the Hamptons, a WTTW behind the scenes live taping package, an Exotic Car Share Driving Experience, and a seven night stay at a private home in Maine.  Other Live Auction items included Disney Hopper Passes, a limited edition Ryder Cup golf bag, a Girls Night Out package from Mario Tricoci, and Cubs and Sox ticket packages.   Silent Auction items included tickets to sporting events, a Weber grill, pub table, works of art, theater and concert tickets, gift certificates to area restaurants and businesses, a Patrick Kane jersey, jewelry and health and beauty baskets.   A spin of the wheel determined our three lucky winners for our “Wheel of Fun” and we also had a cash raffle with prizes of $50, $150 and $500.  Gene Vaynrub donated his services as our photographer to capture the magic and fun of the evening.

Our Honorary Chair, Jack Lloyd, BMO Harris Bank, Market President shared a few words and congratulated PTSCC on their 40th Anniversary and for their dedication and contribution to the lives of seniors in the Palatine Township.  Thank you, Jack and BMO Harris Bank, for your support of the Senior Center and the Palatine community.

The Caring Hearts Gala, Destination Las Vegas: “What happens at the Gala, Stays at the Gala” had three excellent co-chairs this year including Marla Shapiro-Gillen, Laurie Stock, and Kevin Romejko.  Other members of the Gala Committee included, Phyllis Benstein, Donelda Danz, Karen Fay, Nancy Frenk, Diane Iser, John Mahler, Kim Moore, Carol Reagan, Julie Selof, Jennifer Slotowski, and Ann Vatch. 

Thank you to our fabulous Gala committee, many volunteers, individuals, and businesses that helped raise $60,000!  “Your donations make it possible to continue to provide older adults and their families with outstanding programs and services within the Palatine Township communities”, stated Gala Co-Chair, Laurie Stock. 

“We really appreciate the support of our Gala Sponsors” explained Julie Selof, Development Associate at PTSCC.  Thank you to our Diamond Circle Sponsors, Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Senior and Community Resource Center; BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois; BMO Harris Bank; Marktime Media; Judy and Ray McCaskey; Northrop Grumman; and Raco Industrial Corporation, Martha Atherton.  Platinum Circle Sponsors were Palatine Bank and Trust; C. Norman Andrews; and Rem and Lee Stokes.  Our Media Sponsor was Journal & Topics Newspapers.   Gold Circle Sponsors were Cornerstone National Bank and Trust Company; The Garlands of Barrington; Lavelle Law, Ltd.; Northwest Community Healthcare; and A. L. Sittaro, CPA.  Our Silver Circle Sponsors were Harry Benstein, Melaleuca; Phyllis Benstein, Gigi Hill; BIK & CO, LLP; Bradish Associates, LTD; Brandt Financial Concepts, Inc.; Katie Brown, Arbonne International; Comfort Keepers; DeFranco Plumbing Inc.; Jack Devero, Genworth Financial; Lifelong Learning Institute at Harper College; Plum Grove Nursing and Rehab; Right at Home; and Tamarack Independent Retirement Living.

PTSCC’s mission is to provide programs and services which support older adults and their families by encouraging independence, well-being and connection to the community.  PTSCC is one of only six accredited senior centers in the state of Illinois, and one of 162 nationally.   PTSCC operates a multi-purpose Senior Center offering social, nutrition, education, health and wellness, recreation, and support services to Palatine Township area residents and those in the surrounding communities who are 50 and over.  For more information on services, or to volunteer, call 847-991-1112, or visit the PTSCC website at www.ptscc.org.

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