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Hempfield 'class reunion' raises $7,600 for veterans charity

Matthew Santoni
| Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

Some classes raise money by selling candy or washing cars, and most stop once they've graduated.

But about 150 members of the Hempfield Area High School class of 1984 got together last month to raise more than $7,600 for a veterans charity with a party at a classmate's lake house, the organizers said.

Class of 1984 member Marcy Stein had the idea after a joint 50th birthday party for members of the class drew more than 250 guests in 2016. Her classmates started asking about another get-together, and she thought about turning it into a charity event.

“It occurred to me that we can be a class that can do a little bit more. ... We can be a group in the community that can take on a cause,” said Stein, now living in Manhattan. The large number of veterans in the class led her to Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and its Greensburg-based Helping Hand Fund for homeless and low-income vets.

Alumni, local businesses and even a few far-flung businesses, like a California winery operated by a veteran, donated prizes that were sold in 35 silent auctions. The venue, a private lakeside party deck at “Lake Repasky” in Unity, also was donated by members of the class.

Five big-ticket items, including vacations in Myrtle Beach, New York and the Alabama Gulf Coast, were given “live” auctions.

Altogether, the event raised slightly more than $7,600 for the Helping Hand Fund, said Lisa Carey, a case manager for the homeless veterans program.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or via Twitter @msantoni.

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