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Sights on Jazz fundraiser marks silver anniversary

| Sunday, March 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
(from left), Janie Mahla, Westmoreland County Blind Assosciation fundraising chair, joins Westmoreland County Blind Association Board of Directors Dom Acalotto, board member, and Lee Kunkle, chairman, and Westmoreland County Blind Association President/CEO, Lawrence J. Helkowski, at the 25th anniversary Sights on Jazz, held at the Bishop Connare Center in Unity Township on Friday evening, March 7, 2014.

A wise person once said that, if you find a good thing, stay with it. And so it has been for Westmoreland County Blind Association and its signature Sights on Jazz fundraiser.

The event marked its silver anniversary March 7 at the Bishop Connare Center in Unity, sticking with a successful format of casino-style gaming, prize drawings and music by saxophonist and Greensburg attorney James Boggs.

For the special occasion, the usual fare of heavy hors d'oeuvres yielded to a sit-down dinner at linen-covered tables with Mardi Gras-themed decorations.

The success of fundraisers such as jazz night are especially important now, said WCBA President and CEO Larry Helkowski, as income is down because of cutbacks in military contracts for the organization's sewing services.

For more than 60 years, WCBA has provided aid and employment to the blind and visually impaired, including life skills education, help with everyday tasks, transportation and vision screening for preschoolers.

Employees and board members alike pitch in to produce Sights on Jazz, with committee members including Helkowski, Janie Mahla, Lisa Manack, Tony Saulle andCarol Petrusky.

Seen: Rick Mahla, Les and Pauline Mlakar, Rita Saulle, Mark and Kaaren Tintori, George DeCaro, Dom Acalotto, Jack and Mary Ann Cherubini, Paul Petrusky, Carl and Zenaida Johnson, Frank and Dr. Eileen Amato, Bob and Linda Markle, Ralph Graff, Aileen Cunningham, Patty Graff, John and Audrey Terzolino, Andrew and Aliesha Walz, Delver and Jeanne Smith, Terry andJean Pistentis, Gene and Candy Bungard, Dave Cascheraand Cindy Underwood.

— Shirley McMarlin

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