WEIRTON - The sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans could be experienced in Weirton Saturday as the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights hosted its annual Mardi Gras Gala.
Purple, green and yellow streamers and balloons covered the floors and ceilings of the Serbian-American Cultural Center, and guests sampled food from muffuletta to jambalaya while listening to music provided by Adam Brock and his Soul Band.
Brock, from Washington, Pa., was a semifinalist on season 11 of "American Idol."
PUTTING ON THE MOVES — Many of the guests of Saturday’s Mardi Gras Gala spent the evening dancing to the live music. The annual event, held by the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights, served as a fundraiser this year for Table of Hope. - Craig Howell
The evening wasn't just about the Mardi Gras theme though, as each year the gala also serves as a fundraiser for a local nonprofit group or organization. This year's beneficiary, Table of Hope, is expected to receive at least $9,000 based on preliminary numbers.
"We're so excited to be able to raise money for Table of Hope," said club President Jenny Anderson.
Table of Hope, formed only a few years ago, provides dinner and fellowship for any resident at no cost. Located at the First United Methodist Church, at 3301 West St., Table of Hope serves dinner to anyone interested, with no income requirement, Monday through Friday.
The festivities briefly took a somber tone when it was announced the evening would be dedicated in memory of Al Lauttamus, a charter member of the Rotary Club of Weirton Heights, who had died earlier in the week.
The club also took time to recognize the sponsors for the evening, presenting certificates of appreciation to representatives of the various businesses and individuals.
"Without you, we would not be able to hold this event," Anderson said.
Sponsors for the evening included:
Platinum: First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union, Hancock County Savings Bank, Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau and West Virginia Northern Community College.
Gold: Fairfield Inn and Suites, Weirton Geriatric Center, St. Paul Parish, St. Paul School, Weirton Medical Center, Tri-State Medical Group, Lauttamus Security and Crow Dental Associates.
Silver: Robinson and Son Construction; Ohio Valley Optimal Healthcare; Ed and Hazel Powell; L&L Lawn Care; Doan Family Enterprises - McDonald's; James White Construction Co.; All Glass Center; Cheryl Schreiber, CPA; Brooke-Hancock Family Resource Network; Maxwell Welding and Machine; Wine and Beverage Merchants; Weirton Rental Center; Isla Mesler Law Office; and Frankovitch, Anetakis, Colantonio and Simon.
Bronze: Doc and Peggy Bahnsen; United Bank; John and Chris Fair; Jack and Debbie Fowler; CMR USA; St. Joseph the Worker Church; Nathan and Julie Mazur; WesBanco; Joe and Pat Evano; Stuff with Attitude; Deronda Bruich; Dr. John Basil; Weaver Media; HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sewickley; Ohio Valley Plumbing - Mr. Rooter; PS Marketing; Jim and Pam Donahue; Tom and Jenny Anderson; Brightwood; state Del. Ronnie Jones; and DeeJay's BBQ Ribs and Grille.
In Kind sponsorships: MedExpress Urgent Care; R.E. Saxon Jewelers; WCDK-FM and WEIR-AM; and The Weirton Daily Times.