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Last updated: March 29. 2014 10:53PM - 2225 Views
By Mary Therese Biebel mbiebel@civitasmedia.com



Organizers of a March Madness event set for Saturday at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre get into the basketball spirit before a planning meeting. The committee includes Mark Soprano, executive director of the CYC; co-chairs Katie Lambert and John Cavanaugh; and program executive Ryan Smith.
Organizers of a March Madness event set for Saturday at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre get into the basketball spirit before a planning meeting. The committee includes Mark Soprano, executive director of the CYC; co-chairs Katie Lambert and John Cavanaugh; and program executive Ryan Smith.
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IF YOU GO

What: March Madness fund-raiser

Who:Benefits Catholic Youth Center

When: 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday

Where: Westmoreland Club, 59 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre

Tickets: $125 per person

Reservations: Call the CYC at 570-823-6121.

EVENT SCHEDULE

6 p.m.: tip-off, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

6 to 9:30 p.m.: silent-auction bidding

7 p.m.: basketball-themed food stations followed by dessert bar

10 p.m.: silent-auction winners announced

11 p.m.: event conclusion

WHY MARCH MADNESS?

One Henry V. Porter, an Illinois basketball official, may have coined the phrase in 1939 when he wrote, regarding the statewide boys high-school championship: ‘A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.’



She played varsity basketball in high school, intramurals in college, and met her husband while both were officiating a PIAA tournament.


So it’s no surprise “huge basketball fan” Katie Lambert of Kingston has four TVs set up in her basement, the better to watch multiple games.


But even if you’re more of an occasional fan, Lambert said, it’s easy to get swept up in March Madness.


“Just watch one close game and see the faces of those 18- to 22-year-olds running up and down the court,” she said. “My mom is 78, and she jumps on board.”


To add to the excitement of next weekend’s Final Four games — and to support the Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center — Lambert and other committee members have planned a March Madness event at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre.


The CYC offers basketball and aquatic programs to help children grow up healthy and well-rounded, but for many working families, its most vital contributions may be before- and after-school programs as well as round-the-clock child care for children as young as 6 weeks.


The child-care program, which runs from 4 a.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Saturday “allows many people who work second and third shifts to have the child care necessary to allow them to work,” committee member Ruth Corcoran said. “They serve mostly the low-income and very-much-in-need segment of our community.


“They have an after-school program that keeps kids off the street and out of trouble. They teach these kids life skills and other important lessons and are there for them when no one else is.”


“That’s why I work so hard for them,” Corcoran said.


Saturday’s March Madness event is designed not so much for hard work but for fun.


The food offerings will include hot-dog stations with 15 different toppings, chicken and beef cheese steaks and Old Forge-style pizza. “Those are all the types of things people want to feast on when they’re watching basketball,” Lambert said. “And you won’t be able to turn around without looking at a TV set.”


About 100 items have been donated to a silent auction, Corcoran said. They include a LeSean McCoy signed and framed photo, a Mariano Rivera Yankees Farewell Collage with authentic last-game ticket, a Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt Phillies dual signed photo, a Kate Spade handbag, David Yurman pearl-drop earrings, Gucci wool scarf, wine dinner for eight at Cork bar & restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, one month free billboard and “Beer for a Year” from Boston Beer/Sam Adams.


“It will be a fun atmosphere with flags and pennants like you might see on a basketball court,” Lambert said.


The wait staff will dress like referees, and guests are asked to dress in “smart casual” clothing, with no denim or sneakers.


 
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