CLARKS SUMMIT — With 1920s-themed decor, dancing and live music from that era, a wine pull and other raffles, plenty of food, a cash bar and sponsored theme drinks, The Roaring 20’s Gala, to be presented by the Abington Heights Civic League, Inc. (AHCV) from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at The Country Club of Scranton, promises to be entertaining.
“The event itself is truly a fabulous night of fun,” said Gretchen Eagen, of Waverly, who is co-chair along with Nancy Brojack-Jeschke, of Clarks Summit.
Attire is black tie optional and guests are invited to come in period dress. Musical entertainment will be provided by Ken McGraw’s Brass and Ivory Orchestra.
But while having a good time is certainly a big part of it, Eagen said the evening is about much more.
With proceeds benefiting dementia and Alzheimer’s awareness, as well as other AHCL projects, the event will also feature a slide show presentation in honor and memory of those afflicted with dementia related conditions and diseases. This tribute will play on a large screen throughout the evening and will be made into an honorary booklet and disc.
Those wishing to honor a loved one in this way, whether or not they are able to attend the event, may submit a photo, memory, obituary and/or a poem. There is no cost to participate in the tribute, although donations are accepted. Tributes must be sent by Friday, April 1, to AHCL, Inc., C/O Gretchen Eagen, P.O. Box 189, Waverly, PA, 18471.
Both event co-chairs have backgrounds in healthcare, Jeschke as an RN and Eagen as a caregiver to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
“I think by honoring those who have been afflicted with Alzheimer’s, it helps to bring to others a greater respect for the challenges that the victim and friends and families have to meet, as well as to help us prepare for any type of future health issues,” Eagen said.
She explained this is important in that awareness helps better equip people to recognize the signs and symptoms of dementia in the early stages of its related diseases, so they can get the best treatment and prepare for later care, eliminating “the burdens and stress that comes with it.”
The honorary speaker of the evening will be CC Marquardt Donelan, MA, director of education and brain wellness coordinator of the Brain Health and Wellness Center (BHWC) in Massachusetts, who works with BHWC President and CEO Nancy B. Emerson Lombardo, PhD, co-founder of the Alzheimer’s Association. According to the BHWC website, the organization “offers consultation, educational programs, services and products to support evidence-based brain healthy lifestyles.”
Eagen said the AHCL is “very fortunate” to host Donelan as a speaker.
Donelan’s Father, Richard Marquardt, a victim of Alzheimer’s, will also be honored in the tribute.
The gala is a collective effort by the Ways and Means Committee, which worked for nearly a year to ensure its success, and the civic league members. According to Eagen, it takes 30-plus volunteers to run the event. She added the committee is grateful for the assistance of The Country Club of Scranton, which “helps logistically to make the event unique to the time period.”
“The Abington Heights Civic League has been serving the community for 85 years,” Eagen said. “And each year we do various events throughout the entire year to serve our community, on both independent projects and even some national projects that affect our community and the greater Northeastern Pa.”
The club first held a Roaring 20’s Gala in 2015 and because of its sucess and community support, members decided to bring it back this year for a second round.
“Last year because the state project with GWFC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) Home Life Committee selected Alzheimer’s awareness as their project, we decided because of the lack of knowledge on care, signs and symptoms, and so many individuals being afflicted with Alzheimer’s and other related dementia, that it would be great to partner with that,” Eagen said.
Various levels of sponsorship opportunities are still available for business and community members wishing to contribute. Seating is limited, and tickets are available in advance only for $50. For tickets, sponsorship information or general questions about the event, contact Eagen at 570-878-9795 or [email protected]
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.