A third-annual event to benefit the Grand Theater Restoration Project returns this year to the November calendar of area activities, and it has some new elements to it, including music, a champagne fountain and mystery boxes featuring items with a value of $50 or more.
A "Grand Night for Holiday Fashion" will be held Nov. 16 at the Center of Music and Art located at 264 Main St., Wintersville, with doors opening at 6 p.m. although the event is advertised as running from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The fundraiser benefits the ongoing Grand Theater Restoration Project with money from this gala earmarked for windows in the front of the theater, an undertaking estimated to cost $20,000, according to Francesca Carinci, event coordinator and master of ceremonies.
Francesca Carinci shows off some vintage clothing items that will be part of the silent auction at “A Grand Night for Holiday Fashion” fundraiser for the Grand Theater on Nov. 16.
-- Janice Kiaski
The annex windows already have been replaced, incidentally, and the Grand Theater marquee is now lit up at night.
The fashion show will feature a host of local residents modeling fashions from Macy's with Carrie Porter, Macy's sales manager, explaining what everyone's wearing. The fashion show starts at 6:30 p.m.
Although there likely will be other models on board for this, the for-sure ones as of this writing include some newbies, chief among them Scott Dressel himself. Dressel is the president of the board of directors of the Grand Theater Restoration Project who will abandon his typical working attire and ball cap in what will be a return to the suit-and-tie getup he was accustomed to wearing in years gone by.
"Scott used to be a corporate executive who abandoned that to restore homes, so he's putting on a suit and doing this for the first time in seven years," Carinci said, noting with a chuckle that the sight of that "is worth the price of a ticket."
Other first-time event models are Dr. John W. Metcalf Jr. and his wife, Theresa; Dr. Bob and Nancy Ronevich; Beth Rupert-Warren; attorney Michael and Robin Shaheen; Mary Corabi; the musical Balzano children who perform as the Spinning Jenny; Cindy Persina; and Debbie Froehlich with daughter Zoe Leach and her granddaughter, Peyton Leach.
Repeat models will include Susan Adams, Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci, the Kris Haught family, Billy and Nikki Petrella and yours truly.
The models will not only be sporting fashions from Macy's but "makeup magic" courtesy of representatives of Elizabeth Arden coming from Chicago, according to Carinci, who added that James Smith, Elizabeth Arden beauty adviser at Macy's in the Fort Steuben Mall, will be there again with samples and items for sale.
When the doors open, patrons can expect to hear background music provided by Three's Company, a local trio comprised of Kelly Camarote, vocals; Linda Hilty, bass; and Kevin Dennis, on guitar.
"We're making it bigger and better," Carinci said of the annual fundraiser that will include a variety of silent auction items donated by businesses, including gift certificates to restaurants and other goodies.
The silent auction also will include a number of vintage clothing pieces: a 1930s vintage velvet coat with a hand-sewn sequin collar paired with a red scarf from Macy's; a 1920s clutch with bugle beads; a 1950s Pierre Cardin sheared beaver full-length cold-stored coat; a mink stole and matching mink hat; another fur coat; and a never-out-of-the-box 1920s green cloche-style hat.
'All of these are in wonderful condition," Carinci said, noting Tony Corella of Two Brothers Dry Cleaners in Steubenville "always donates a cleaning and a glazing of the furs."
New this year will be $10 mystery boxes, all of them a winner, all of them containing something with a value of $50 or more, according to Carinci, who said refreshments will include a champagne fountain; hors d'oeuvres; and a cash bar provided by Froehlich's Classic Corner.
Tickets are $25 and are available in advance or at the door. Ahead of time, they can be purchased at the Center of Music and Art in Wintersville; Two Brothers Dry Cleaners, Steubenville; at the visitors center at Historic Fort Steuben; and at Carinci's law office on the ninth floor of the Sinclair building at Fourth and Market streets, downtown Steubenville.
For information, call (740) 284-8008 or (740) 632-2899.
In other Grand Theater news, the upcoming Steubenville Christmas Parade set for noon on Dec. 7 will have a Grand Theater presence as "little elves" have been busy working on a float Carinci says will be "really spectacular."
Its progress is being posted on the Grand Theater Facebook page that gives a glimmer of what Carinci, Dressel and John and Marianne Cooper have been up to.
The theme is "A Grand Christmas" and will have a movie theater setting with tiered seating, a movie screen, curtains, sounds and lights, and seats - vintage balcony ones installed on the float.
"This is really a community project," Carinci said, noting Vernon Dell Tractors is providing a generator; Mark Nelson, the trailer; and Ken Perkins, the truck to pull the float.
"We really want people to come and see it," she said, hopeful for a "grand" turnout at the parade next month and the fashion show next weekend.