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Mt. Pleasant area group to host Spring Sparkle Dinner on April 13

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jacobs Creek Area Faith In Action will host its fifth annual Spring Sparkle Dinner and Show on Saturday at the Scottdale Fireman’s Club. Those involved, include (first row, from left) Charlene Boldin, a singer in the Ole ’97 Johnny Cash-June Carter Tribute Band; Jeff Erb, the band’s guitarist; (second row) Melaney Hegyes, the program’s director; Patricia Walker, a steering committee member; Andy Pinskey, the event’s chairman; and fellow steering committee members, Joyce Moore, Sr. Susanne Chenot, Linda Hone, Cheryl Hegyes and Carol Gray.

Jacobs Creek Area Faith In Action will hold its fifth annual Spring Sparkle Dinner and Show April 13 at the Scottdale Fireman's Club.

“This is our largest fundraising event that we hold during the year,” said Melaney Hegyes, the director and site coordinator of the local Faith in Action program.

The event is one which serves a crucial role for the agency.

“We depend heavily upon this event to raise the majority of the money needed to continue to remain in our local community and provide free, much-needed services to our community's senior citizens,” Hegyes said.

Volunteers work to enhance the quality of life for citizens ages 60 years and older who reside in Scottdale, Mt. Pleasant and New Stanton by providing volunteer companionship and assistance.

Since 2007, United Way of Westmoreland County's Faith in Action network has allowed for more than $17 million in long-term savings to participating seniors, their families and surrounding communities by helping seniors to remain living in their homes longer, Hegyes said.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. and a full dinner buffet will be served at 6 p.m., Hegyes said.

There are usually around 200 people who attend the event, she added.

Linda Yothers, 63, of Scottdale attended last year and she said she plans to attend this year, too.

“I liked the entertainment, the Chinese auction and door prizes. The whole thing is really put together nice and we all had a good time,” Yothers said. “I like to support people who help the elderly.”

Yothers added that she is looking forward to this year's entertainment — the Ole '97 Johnny Cash-June Carter Tribute Band — which will take the stage at 7 p.m.

“I can't wait to hear them. I have never heard them so I am anxious to hear them because I have listened to Johnny Cash all my life,” she said.

Along with the music of Cash and Carter, the group's repertoire also includes the songs of Patsy Cline, Janis Joplin and Conway Twitty.

Paul Carpenter of Johnstown is the manager and drummer for the six-piece, Johnstown-band band. He said the group does not impersonate Cash or any of the other performers.

“We're a tribute band that plays mostly Johnny Cash because Randy Hunter, our lead singer, sounds just like Johnny Cash,” Carpenter said. “We can even do Alvin and the Chipmunks. That one ... you won't believe your ears when you hear it.”

The group has performed all over the region, including locally at the Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival.

In March, Ole '97 opened for country music stars Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Joe Diffie in Meadville, Crawford County.

“We play Johnny Cash music but (it is) updated for audiences of today. We have 20 year olds that like us as well as 80 year olds,” Carpenter said. “First it's shock, they can't believe their ears then they start yelling out requests and having a good time.”

The event will also feature door prizes and basket raffles.

There will also be raffle tickets for a queen-sized quilt made by the Hearts and Hands Quilt Guild which will be on display.

Tickets for the quilt will be $3 apiece and will give buyers two chances to win. The winner will be announced via the televised Pennsylvania Lottery drawing on April 30.

Tickets for the event are $30 per person or $290 for a table of eight and an advertisement in the program.

For tickets, call 724-542-4117.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.