BY RUTH RICE

RRICE@TRIBDEM.COM

The latest trend may be a smart choice for a local fundraiser.

A 2008 Smart Car Passion Coupe will be raffled off when the eighth annual Mountain Playhouse Revels is held from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Mountain Playhouse and Green Gables Restaurant, Jennerstown.

Tickets for a chance to drive off in the vehicle are $100 each, and only 300 will be sold, said Teresa Stough-ton Marafino, playhouse producer.

Those vying for a chance to be trendy need not be present to win the 41 mpg minicar.

Tickets may be purchased until 9 p.m. Saturday.

“You can buy as many as you want,” Marafino said. “I think it will add excitement to the evening.”

Since those who wish to purchase a Smart Car from a dealer are put on a waiting list and need to make a deposit, Marafino thought it would be a change of pace to have something new, fun, exciting and different for this year’s revels.

The raffle will replace the revels’ usual silent auction.

The Smart Car, which is valued at more than $15,000, has been on display outside the playhouse for most of the summer.

“It’s all everyone has been talking about,” Marafino said. “They get into it to see how big it is.

“We’ve sold over half the tickets, but there are still some available.”

The raffle is made possible through the donation of a theater patron, she said.

Jane Laks Gleason of Johnstown, a member of the fundraising committee, said she thought raffling the minicar would be a different experience for the revels’ guests.

“There was a big push this year to make the revels memorable and fun,” Gleason said. “Without a silent auction, there will be less stress and pressure to buy anything. Guests sometimes feel a responsibility to make a donation. This way, they can come and have an enjoyable time and get their minds off the worries of the world.”

The revels will benefit the playhouse, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year.

“This is our only fundraiser in terms of an event,” Marafino said. “Only 50 percent of our expenses are covered by ticket sales. This is important to the financial health of the theater.”

The black-tie-optional evening will begin with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception from 6 to 6:45 at Green Gables.

Guests then will walk to Mountain Playhouse, where Mary Ehlinger and Larry Tobias will provide the evening’s music and comedy entertainment until 7:30.

Both had roles in the playhouse’s “Smoke on the Mountain” and have performed in a number of other productions.

The audience will return to Green Gables, where a dinner featuring a filet and crab cake entree prepared by executive chef Shay MacDonald will be served.

At 9:30, the Smart Car drawing will be held, and a “decadent dessert” buffet will be unveiled.

“I leave the buffet to the chef’s discretion and creativity, but I can guarantee there will be chocolate,” Marafino said.

To top off the evening, dancing to the Pittsburgh Jazz Sextet will be held until midnight.

“It’s a six-hour event, but guests can stay just until the drawing if they wish,” Marafino said.

Reservations will be taken by phone until Wednesday morning at 629-9201, ext. 290.



What: Eighth annual Mountain Playhouse Revels.

When: 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday.

Where: Mountain Playhouse and Green Gables Restaurant, Jennerstown.

Cost: $300 and $150 for revels; $100 for minicar raffle.

Information: 629-9201, expt. 290.

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