The Rome Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its 28th annual silent auction fundraiser for Honor America Days on Friday, March 15, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Teugega Country Club.
The public is invited to attend and bid on hundreds of items to raise money for Rome’s annual patriotic celebration, with this year’s parade themed “Christmas in July.” Tickets will be $40 at the door, or can be purchased in advance for $35 at the Chamber office, 139 W. Dominick St., or at eventbrite.com.
“This year’s event will feature a performance by Tom Anzalone — comedian, entertainer, musician and teacher who uses his talents to delight audiences of all ages,” said Jennifer Beach Brillante, who chairs the Chamber’s silent auction committee.
“With a few simple props, a guitar and a roll of electrical tape, Tom produces quick and quirky musical impersonations of Elvis, Elton, Springsteen, and countless more. But it is off-key creativity that spawns his usual standing ovation. His Springsteen recites the alphabet (to the tune of “Born in the U.S.A.”) his Pinball Wizard (from the rock opera “Tommy”) is sung, well, opera style,” Brillante continued.
“Tom consistently hits the right notes for any audience.”
Classically trained, Anzalone began his career performing in musicals and the opera while pursuing standup comedy, and has performed in venues across the country and internationally. His television appearances include America’s Funniest People on ABC and the Showtime Comedy Club Network. He has performed at New York City’s Laugh Factory, The Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and in more than 40 states.
Anzalone will perform from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“We are looking forward to celebrating ‘Christmas in July’ during this summer’s Honor America Days celebration, and the silent auction is a wonderful event to get us started,” said Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo.
“While the Honor America Days Committee concentrates on securing sponsorship monies to help fund Honor America Days, the silent auction is a great way to not only raise needed funding but provide a great event for all to enjoy. We are grateful for the silent auction committee’s dedication to assisting the Honor America Days celebration, and we are looking forward to a great evening of fun featuring comedian Tom Anzalone,” the mayor added.
The bidding begins at 5:30, and until 8 p.m., attendees can enjoy:
Cheeses and crackers
Hummus and house-baked pita chips
Fresh vegetables with spinach dip
Wild mushroom bisque
Beef or fish sliders, with fixings
A pasta and potato station
A cash bar will be open all evening. There will also be a live auction segment conducted by former mayor Joseph Fusco, as well as a 50/50 raffle and door prizes. NBT Bank is the event sponsor, with Nunn’s Home Medical Equipment as the supporting sponsor, and Strategic Financial Services and Destito Realty Inc. as participating sponsors.
The silent auction was established by the Chamber in 1992 as a way for businesses and community members to help fund Rome’s annual Honor America Days celebration, held since 1984. Each year, Honor America Days’ major sponsors donated thousands of dollars to pay for promotion, administration, and entertainment expenses associated with the parade, concert and fireworks show held on the last Saturday in July. Smaller businesses are unable to make major sponsorship commitments each year but they eagerly want to support Honor America Days, so the Chamber established the silent auction as a way of growing the funding stream, gaining more support from the community, and offering great deals on merchandise while entertaining the public.
Chamber members who volunteer their time to organize the silent auction include:
Carol Brigandi, retired community volunteer
Jennifer Beach Brillante of C&D Advertising
Frank Belmont of A Mad Affair
Iris Buczkowski of Strategic Financial Services
Wendy Calabrese of Kris-Tech Wire
Russell Hayes of First Source Federal Credit Union
Mike Manuele of AmeriCU Credit Union
Michelle Minicozzi of A Mad Affair
Jordann Stevens of BME
Dennis Surace of NBT Bank