The RO Foundation had a fantastic night on Friday as it held its "Shake on the Lake IV" little black dress dance party at Rookies Sports Bar on the Lake in Dunkirk.
Around 500 patrons had plenty to do and were excited not to miss out on this event. When entering the building, they were greeted by a red carpet and flashing lights from the paparazzi, as well as smiling greeters.
A Chinese auction included a recliner donated by Patton's Home Furnishing Sales of Fredonia and a 35-inch flat screen television donated by DFT Communications. If patrons had a problem with their garage door, Sears of Fredonia donated a garage door opening set. Tractor Supply donated a lawn wagon which was filled with beverages donated by friends, including 21 Brix, Noble and Liberty Vineyards wineries. Also, for the enthusiasts, there was a skydiving certificate donated by Frontier Skydivers of Newfane, N.Y. Other prizes included a wine cooling system donated by Add Lumber and Smith's True Value and a certificate good toward buying a tree or landscaping a house, donated by Glen Acres Nursery. Baskets were donated by Beachwalk Designs' Chanel Alessi, Pauline Crowell and Darleen Alessi and Cutting Block Hair Designs. If luck was not on the side of those who participated in the Chinese auction, there were two solid oak rocking chairs raffled off, which were donated by Amish craftsmen.
OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
Around 500 patrons attended the RO Foundation’s “Shake on the Lake IV” little black dress dance party Friday night at Rookies Sports Bar on the Lake in Dunkirk. Pictured from left: Rochelle Hennessey, Sue Guzzetta, Linda Smith and Chris Khneiger. Guzzetta and Smith are sisters of Joseph Russo, one of the two founders of the RO Foundation.
OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
Marnie Ulkins (pictured) browses the wide selection of prizes, including these baskets and the 35-inch flat screen television, donated by local companies for the 'Shake on the Lake IV' Chinese auction. Other events included food vendors, a comedian, a bachelor auction and plenty of music and dancing.
The RO Foundation likes to help others when they put on their events, and this one was no different. Rookies served up RO-Tini specialty beverages for $10. Patrons were able to keep the glasses, which were engraved with the name "RO Foundation." Proceeds for these drinks went to the Brooks Memorial Hospital dialysis department.
Walking outside was an ambiance of white-, black- and pink-covered tables that guests could sit or stand at. At the big top, patrons were greeted by tuxedoed hosts Fred Tripp and Dean Messina. Beautifully decorated sponsor tables held donated centerpieces on top of the colorful tablecloths.
This year, sponsors included Shults Resale Center of Dunkirk, DFT Communications, the Kosciuszko Polish Home, the Fredonia Beaver Club, Mary Asher, Dr. and Mrs. Jay Bishop, Mary's Deli and Glen Acres Nursery. Centerpieces were donated by the WCA Home of Fredonia, the Dunkirk Medicor Office, Pam Pokoj, the Brooks Hospital dialysis unit, the Nathan George Foundation and the Chautauqua National Alliance on Mental Health.
Hungry patrons were in the right place, as 13 restaurants caterers and clubs located themselves under the big top. These groups donated their time and food for this worthy cause. They were: Pat's Catering, La Casa D' Mangia, Beach House Grill, East Side Restaurant, Dunkirk Moose Lodge #89, Cassadaga Country Club, Sweet Creations, The Brick Room, Fireside Manor, Jenna's Fourth Street Cafe, Big Daddy's Lounge, Liberty Food and Spirits and Gus' Hots.
Music was provided by DJ Joe Gould all night and entertainment from comedian Dan Liberto of Rochester had the crowd in stitches. Liberto also emceed the bachelor auction that the ladies bid on for a date package. Bachelors included Mike Nelson, Mark Darling, Matty Bellittere and Tom Destro. These gentlemen put on a show for the cause. They were courageous and strutted their stuff for the foundation to raise money. Date packages were donated by Paradise Yacht Cruises, The Summer Wind, Shorewood Country Club, MoviePlex 8, Rocco's Restaurant, Vineyard Falls Miniature Golf and Squire's Table at The White Inn.
The founders of the RO Foundation would like to thank all of the volunteers, vendors, Rob Curry and Ang Zappie and the staff at Rookies on the Lake. Everyone helped make this event the biggest one to-date. The founders would also like to thank Hae Jude Signs, Karen Jaquith, Eli Reber, George Borrello, the OBSERVER, DJ Joe Gould, Roger Gloss, Gary and Liz Worosz, the city of Dunkirk, Piede Tents, G & E Tents, WDOE 1410 and Beth Shaw, Frosty Treat in Irving, McDonalds in Fredonia, Merritt Estate Winery and our partners and staff at the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation. If anyone was missed in this list, the founders would like to express their apologies.
The RO Foundation's mission is to assist local patients and families with transportation costs associated with going to treatment centers and hospitals for long-term illnesses. Costs include gas, food and lodging. For more information, or to donate, please visit www.rofoundation.com or call the NCCF at (716) 366-4892.
Other than the money collected from the RO-Tini beverages, all proceeds will go towards the RO Foundation.