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P.T. Cruiser, which specializes in music from the 1960's. '70s and '80s, was so popular at last year's Snowflake Ball that it will make an encore appearance. Submitted photo/ The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, PA.

BY RUTH RICE

RRICE@TRIBDEM.COM

Who said raising money for a worthy cause can’t be fun?

When the annual Snowflake Ball gets under way at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Westmont, everyone should be in good spirits.

The hit of last year’s fundraiser for Lee Auxiliary and Lee Foundation was the local group P.T. Cruiser, and the nostalgia band is returning this year.

“Last year was the first year we used them, and I was blown away when I heard them play,” said Ginger Pfeil, manager of Lee Auxiliary.

“I knew there was no doubt we were calling them this year.”

P.T. Cruiser plays hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and modern music.

“They play the whole mix from classic to modern,” Pfeil said.

“They play good dance music and are a good nostalgia band.”

Last year, Pfeil said many partygoers whom might have stayed for only an hour after dinner stayed the entire evening to dance and listen to the band.

The winter-themed event is black tie optional, and the deadline for ordering tickets, which are $80 per person, is Wednesday.

The ball will begin with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Proceeds from the event are divided evenly between Lee Auxiliary’s Emily Lee Scholarship Program and Lee Foundation’s matching grant program.

The scholarship program is named for Emily Lee, who bequeathed most of her $250,000 estate to establish Lee Hospital in memory of her late husband, Dr. John Kidd Lee.

“In the mid-1980s, the auxiliary started the scholarship,” Pfeil said. “Money came from various fundraising sources, and it was only open to Lee Hospital personnel and their families and only for those students in the health-care field.”

After the sale of UPMC Lee Regional to Conemaugh Health System, changes were made to the auxiliary and its scholarship program.

“It now supports the needs of the community,” Pfeil said.

“Anyone in the community is eligible, but they still need to be going for post-secondary health care.”

Applications for the scholarship will be available until Feb. 1.

Also, the matching grant program reaches out to benefit the entire community.

Larry Olek, executive director of Lee Foundation, said proceeds from the ball used to go toward renovations at Lee Hospital and the purchase of new equipment.

“It’s a wonderful evening after the holidays to enjoy a night out,” Olek said.

“That is our purpose.”

Those who can’t attend may make a contribution, and those who attend and want to make an extra donation are welcome to do so, Pfeil said.

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