A fun evening at Nemacolin Woodland Resort and Spa in Farmington starts at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9 when doors to the Marquis Ballroom open for the 30th annual Harvest Ball.
A major fundraiser for the Greene County Memorial Hospital Foundation, this year’s Harvest Ball will feature live entertainment and dancing to the music of Pittsburgh-based Gary Racan and the Studio E Band.
For 16 years, Racan was the lead singer for the Vogues until he left in 2000 to form his own musical ensemble. Kim Racan, press contact for the band, said since then the Studio E Band has gone on to become one of the nation’s top private event bands. In both 2017 and 2018, the band staged its Warriors Rock concert at Waynesburgh High School, which honored local veterans.
“Our 14-piece band with six vocalists travels nationwide performing all decades and genres of music - everything from country and Motown to Sinatra, big-band and current hits,” she said.
In addition to the live music at the Harvest Ball, a four course dinner with soup, salad, entree and dessert will begin at 7 p.m. Vegetarian options are available.
Tickets for the ball are $250 per couple and $125 per person. Individuals and couples
may attend without being affiliated with a company. However, no walk-in tickets will be sold.
A cash bar is available and reservations must be made by Nov. 1 by phoning 724-852-2060.
“Typically, we have around 200 participants each year,” said David Jones, executive director. “Usually, half the men wear tuxedos; half wear dark suits. The women have more leeway and wear everything from gowns to cocktail dresses.”
Jones will give a welcoming introduction followed by a short speech by a spokesperson from EQT, a major event sponsor.
Seating will be assigned so that attendees can sit next to friends, relatives or business partners. The event will also feature free caricatures by Pittsburgh artist Sam Thong, who will make his creation in color on an iPad. There will also be Chinese and silent auctions, all of which have items worth $100 or more. Two of this year’s prizes include an overnight stay at the Buhl Mansion in Sharon, Pa. and a guitar autographed by Kiss band members.
“Each year, we try to have an autographed guitar included in our auctions,” Jones said. “In the past, we’ve had them autographed by the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.”
Along with the annual July golf outing at the Greene County Country Club, the Harvest Ball is the foundation’s biggest fundraiser. The events support its work in Greene County, which, according to Jones, amounts to around $200,000 yearly in grant money awarded to county organizations.
“We are only able to support the community because of these fundraisers,” Jones said. “The foundation owns and operates the EQT Rec Center, and events like these help make projects like the center happen.”
According to its website, the Greene County Memorial Hospital Foundation (GCMHF) was formed as the result of the sale of Greene County Memorial Hospital in Oct. 2005 to Essent Healthcare, a for-profit organization based in Nashville.
The hospital traces its roots to the years 1904 and 1905 when two Waynesburg physicians, Dr. Harry C. Scott and Dr. Frank Ullom, opened the first hospital in Greene County.
By 1907 the hospital earned accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and the Department of Public Welfare in recognition of its programs and professionalism. Twenty years later the Waynesburg Hospital officially changed its name to Greene County Memorial Hospital and began operating as a non-profit corporation.
GCMH continued to grow in response to the needs of the community and with the support of the Auxiliary, built a completely modern three-story facility. The 88-bed hospital officially opened in February, 1938.
Over the next three decades the hospital built additions to the original structure and added services that expanded its impact on the community. After extensive analysis and a major fund raising campaign, a five-story addition to the hospital was completed in June, 1976.
The next two decades saw more growth and lead to the development of two more major projects; a skilled nursing unit for transitional care opened in December, 1992, and the Wellness Center, a comprehensive rehabilitation and fitness facility was dedicated in June, 1999.
“Nemacolin Woodlands is a beautiful place and is easily accessible for our attendees,” Jones said. “Some even like to make it a full weekend by staying overnight.”
For more information on Harvest Ball and other events, visit gcmhfoundation.org.