Win a Date for Charity set for March 25

Several area men and women have volunteered their smiling faces and entertaining personalities to raise money for Relay for Life of Elk County, which contributes to the American Cancer Society to support people with cancer and fund research efforts. "A Ray of Hope" Relay for Life team is holding a "Win a Date for Charity" event on Friday, March 25 from 9 p.m. to midnight at Gunners Lounge in St. Marys. MaryLou Wehler, event coordinator and team member, said approximately 10 bachelors and 10 bachelorettes ranging in age from 18 to 45 years old have volunteered to be bid on. Winners and their "dates" will draw certificates donated by local restaurants and businesses, with dinner for two, wine tastings, movie packages at the local theater and pizza and bowling among the offerings. "I just thought it was fun and different," Wehler said of planning the event. Team captain Paula Meyer said she and team members Kathy Mertz and Cheryl Cummings got involved in Relay for Life last year through their employer, and this year decided to expand on the idea and form a team of their own. They partnered up with Wehler, whose husband works for the same company, to establish the A Ray of Hope team. "I do this personally because cancer is very much part of our family. My dad died 22 years ago of cancer. My mother-in-law died last year. My father-in-law's fighting cancer now. And my sister had breast cancer. It kind of hits home, so that's why I'm involved," Meyer said. Her fellow Relay members also noted that some of their close friends and family members have been affected by cancer. Gunners volunteered to host the event and will also sponsor the evening's entertainment, with music by JB Unplugged. JB will start playing at 8 p.m., and Wehler said patrons are invited to come early to listen to the music, meet the bachelors and bachelorettes and enjoy drink and appetizer specials. Gary Mitchell from The River 98.9 will act as emcee and auctioneer for the proceedings, with bids starting at $25. An introduction and brief biography of each contestant will be provided for the audience as he or she goes up for bid. All proceeds from the Win A Date for Charity event will benefit Relay For Life of Elk County. Anyone who would like to join the A Ray of Hope Relay for Life team, make a donation or learn more about the charity auction may call Meyer at 834-2397.