Gala celebrates 25 years of Crossroads House


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What better way to celebrate your 25th anniversary than a red carpet affair?

That’s exactly what Crossroads House organizers thought. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Jan. 28 at Batavia Downs Park Place Entertainment Center, Park Road, Batavia.

“We’re going to do a lot of celebrating,” Director of Development Vicki Johnson said. “There will be a memorabilia table and photos, and the auctions.”

For musical entertainment, Dueling Pianos International will be performing in a fun, light-hearted style, she said. Patrons can offer tips for a pianist to play a particular song, or to stop playing one, she said.

Going along with that musical theme, the reverse auction includes a piano pin with a flashing light to indicate who is still in during the drawing. Once a number is pulled, the light goes out.

A buffet dinner with cash bar will begin at 6 p.m. The evening will include several auctions in the form of a live one — maybe you’d like to bid on four tickets to see comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, a comfy recliner, or an overnight getaway — silent auctions of various gift packages and a reverse auction with a cash prize.

Never heard of a reverse auction? It works completely opposite of most raffle drawings, in which participants are eliminated as their numbers are drawn, dwindling down to a final winner. Or perhaps the last two remaining participants will opt to split the cash pot.

Star tributes may be purchased for $25 to honor or memorialize someone special, because, after all, this is a time to recognize the stars in one’s life, organizers said. Past and present employees, volunteers, board members and families served are invited to join in the celebration.

The first resident’s name was Jean, and she moved into Crossroads House on Jan. 7, 1998. A process that took two years and many hands — of staff, volunteers, board and community members — has established a comfort care home for 575 residents, Johnson said. (For the full story, click HERE.)

Future goals are to continue educating the community about the fragile topic of death and to open a second home.

In the meantime, the Red Carpet Gala is an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments and lives that have been touched by Crossroads House.

Tickets are $75 each, which includes dinner, entertainment, auctions, free 5X7 photos for each couple or group, and $15 Free Play. A VIP sponsorship is $1,000 for a table of eight, and also includes an hour of open bar at 4 p.m., special seating and advertising throughout the evening.

“We’re lining our red carpet with stars in memory or honor of someone,” Johnson said. “The board is hosting it, and the goal was really to celebrate.”

Go here for tickets.  Seating is limited to 350, and Johnson recommends reserving your spot soon. Stars may be purchased up to the date of the event.

Photo: Vicki Johnson, director of development, Kathy Panepento, founder and director of resident care and doula services, and former nurse Betty James reminisce with a scrapbook of history about Crossroads House. Photo by Joanne Beck.



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