By Greg Klein
---- — The weather and the competition didn’t hurt Brewery Ommegang’s “Karaoke Against Cancer” fundraiser Saturday.
Although final figures are not in, event organizers said they have raised more than $10,000 to help pay for medical expenses for two employees with cancer.
The employees’ names were not provided by the Ommegang officials, in an attempt to respect their privacy.
“We had almost 200 people join us for the event, an impressive number given the other fundraising events going on that weekend (including) Empty Bowls and the Angel Network’s Masquerade Ball,” said Ommegang publicity manager Allison Capozza.
In addition to the karaoke, a silent auction was held with more than 40 items. Although the 275,000 hectoliters of beer, with a starting bid of $50,000 and a net worth of $175,000, went unsold, several other big-ticket items were sold.
A Cannondale bike donated by the brewery got the highest bid, $700.
Other auction items included signed posters from last year’s concert series, a collection of CDs donated by Columbia Records and Nathan D’Oria, jewelry by local artists Jessame Sander, Chloe and Isabel, and Gerald Yosca and paintings by Mike Perry and Kathy Minning.
“We’ve never done an event like this before,” Capozza said. “This event was really special. We have been totally blown away by the outpouring of support from the community.”
In addition to the karaoke event, Ommegang donated $355 to the Bob Simon/Loretta Anagnost Patient Assistance Fund at Bassett Medical Center. The money came from a $1 donation for every bottle of beer sold at the brewery in February. That fundraiser was held in honor of Cancer Prevention Month.
“We were extremely proud of the way everyone in the local community banded together to support members of the Ommegang family,” said Ommegang events coordinator John Tuchowski. “We were ecstatic to see the response from friends near and far, local businesses and national organizations helping out our cause.”