Montco Amateur Kickoff Party features music by the Chatterband and more

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The venue might be new but, for the 6th consecutive year, the energy level will be extremely high when a major music and food event kicks off the effort for the Montgomery County Amateur Championship and its Junior Scholarship Fund.

The newly renovated Grand Ballroom at Blue Bell CC will house the Montgomery County Amateur Kickoff Party, from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. For the first five years the event was held at Westover CC. County Am executive director Tony Leodora has hosted the event, ostensibly as his “Annual Belated 50th Birthday Party.” The ruse is part of the effort to enhance the festivities of the evening.

Returning as the major attraction for music lovers throughout the evening is the Chatterband, one of the most popular dance and party bands in the region.

“We are very excited to have this Montgomery County-wide event at Blue Bell CC,” said Blue Bell general manager Bill Beisel. “With the Chatterband leading the way, this has turned into one of the great social nights of the year in the area.”

The evening’s music will begin with a variety of favorites from Tony C. and Associates, the official disc jockeys of the Montgomery County Amateur Championship. Then the Chatterband takes center stage. The nine-piece band will be augmented by a number of special guest performers. Jazz saxophonist Frankie Ewing will join the band for a set. Andy and Cheryl Petruzelli, lead singers for the popular local group The Norristones, will lend their special musical style. Christina Triglia, lead singer for another hot dance and party band, Where’s Pete, will add energy when she joins the Chatterband.

As has become tradition, the spotlight will fall on some very young performers who thrill at the opportunity to join the big band for a few songs.  Hannah Rowan, a 15-year-old freshman at Pope John Paul High School, returns to sing with the Chatterband for a third year. She has been performing on stage since age 7 and is a fixture in school plays, including this year as one of the lead characters in the production of “Mary Poppins.”

The tradition of displaying young talent along with the Chatterband connects with part of the mission statement of the Montgomery County Amateur Championship – to recognize and promote scholar athletes in the county. This year’s new scholarship winners, from among those juniors who played in the Montgomery County Amateur Championship, will be announced at the party. To date, 31 junior golfers from across the county have been awarded scholarships from the Dave Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund (golf proficiency) and the Harry Mirabile Memorial Scholarship Fund (academics, sportsmanship and service to the community).

“There are many worthwhile community efforts that help a lot of people,” explains Leodora. “This scholarship fund was set up to reward young people for doing something exceptional. Over the years they have proven to be some of the brightest lights in Montgomery County and they have gone on to do bigger and better things. Our goal is to keep that momentum going.”

As an additional enticement for the patrons who attend the party, the annual Taste of Montgomery County will take place throughout the evening. More than a dozen restaurants and food purveyors from around the area will have some of their tastiest dishes available at stations in the ballroom. A partial list of this year’s food exhibitors and some of their specialties includes the Farmer’s Daughter (mini-desserts), Blue Bell CC (barbecue pulled pork), Michael’s Pub at Westover CC (honey baked ham, Caesar salad), Sessano’s (roast pork), Franzone’s Conshohocken (pizza), Franzone’s Bridgeport (hoagies), Redstone American Grill (assorted appetizers), Corropolese Bakery (tomato pie, desserts), Carl Venezia Meats (antipasto), Joe’s All American Pub and Restaurant (roast beef) and Guppy’s – East Norriton, Conshohocken and Bryn Mawr – (assorted wraps).

Also, there will be a large silent auction during the event – with some extremely enticing (mostly golf) items. They include a threesome at Aronimink GC; the Yuengling Experience, which includes a foursome at venerable Schuylkill CC, Yuengling golf bags, shirts and other items; the Atlantic City Experience, which includes two rooms for two nights at the Sheraton Atlantic City and two foursomes of golf at Blue Heron Pines and Seaview Resort; and a foursome at Whitemarsh Valley CC. For non-golfers, there is the raffle, which includes a first prize of the Ultimate Romance Package – an overnight stay in a suite at Normandy Farm, a $100 gift certificate to the Farmer’s Daughter restaurant, a complete day of pampering at Nu Waves Salon and a bottle of Prosecco.

Tickets for the event are priced at $15 and can be purchased by calling (610) 279-9220.

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