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Holly Jolly Christmas: Holiday benefit to assist three charities

November 26, 2010

Raising funds for three charities simultaneously, the Jay and Friends, Inc. charity organization is hosting a benefit Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 5 to 10 p.m., at the Fort Myers Beach Moose Lodge.

"We're striving to help change some lives this holiday season," said Jay D'Alessandro, lead man for Jay and Friends. "Helping three charities Mooseheart, Child City and School, the main organization for the Moose Lodge; a scholarship fund in the name of dear, dear friend of mine, Bob LaForce, who was a big influence for this benefit, bringing it to new heights; and then we found the Gabriel House, a very worthwhile situation on Daniels Road, that takes in emotionally, mentally and physically-impaired kids. They're just total saints and we wanted to help them this season. We thought between the three of these charities, we could take the funds raised and split it between them, which would result in a wonderful benefit and many prospering from it."

The Moose Lodge is proud to host this holiday benefit. Jay, a member of the lodge, is sure to share some words of the chapter managers.

Article Photos

The Jay & Friends holiday benefit for three charities takes place Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Moose Lodge 964. Above, left to right, Ed and Char Conner of the Moose, Geri Morace, and organizer Jay D’Alessandro, stand by a Christmas tree up for grabs with nearly $2,000 of area gift certificates. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.

"Ed and Char Conner are two of the greatest people I've ever met," he said. "There's a reason why this chapter has a membership of 1,800. They're just wonderful people. It's a great place to be a member of."

Helping before the benefit

If interested in helping the causes prior to the benefit actually taking place, it's very easy.

"For just $32, anyone can be a sponsor of the benefit," Jay said. "Your name will be placed on a 3-by-2 sign made by Connor Signs that says thanks for being a part of the charities and your efforts to help, and it will be put on display for all to see at the Moose Lodge. We've sold over 90 signs to local people in a very tough economy that want to see some good come from this, and we're so thankful for that."

During the benefit, there will be several other ways to help out the causes.

Between silent auctions, raffles, 50/50s and more, benefit-goers will be able to raise funds while having fun and winning tons of fabulous prizes that will be up for grabs.

"We will have about 25 to 30 items given out through a silent auction, anywhere from trips to the Keys to condo rentals to prizes of all types, worth $20 up to many hundreds of dollars," he said. "We'll also have lots of raffle prizes, 50/50s, the Southwest Florida Singles Group has donated an eight-foot spiral Christmas tree with 300 scratch-off tickets and 100 tab tickets from the Moose. On-stage, we'll have a barrel of wine and champagne auctioned off, as well as an eight-foot Christmas tree with $1,500 worth of gift certificates to local establishments. It's still pretty early, so we're working on it having about $2,000 worth by the time of the benefit."

Three entertainment groups will boast their skills that night, from Southern Express to Tammy Truitt and Danny Albani three great acts performing for five great hours.

"The three will take turns on their own, singing together, all their time, bless their hearts, have been donated, and it's so very nice of them to do that," Jay said. "Danny is also going to volunteer his services to cook an Italian dinner for up to 10 people at his home on Fort Myers Beach and providing everything from the wine and appetizers to the entrees and dessert serving it, cleaning it up, performing some of his music, the works."

Also during the benefit will be a Battle of the Bartenders, auctioned off and will include Broadway Palm dinner tickets, a limo ride, champagne and more.

"At the end of the night, we will auction off a 32-inch and 40-inch flatscreen TV," Jay said. "Hopefully, with the combination of donations, we'll be able to bring in enough funds to touch many lives this Christmas, and start an annual scholarship fund."

And for the first 250 entrants to the benefit, Sun Harvest has donated 250 bountiful bags of local Florida fruit. For more informaton on the upcoming holiday fund-raiser, call Jay at 671-2908.



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