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Carousel Park at Olcott Beach plans fundraiser with food, music

Volunteers at Olcott Beach Carousel Park are pitching their biggest fundraiser of the year Saturday in the Olcott Fire Hall.

The park celebrates its fifth season when it opens its doors Memorial Day weekend.

A silent auction kicks off the fundraiser from noon to 2 p.m., along with a preview of the live auction, live jazz music and hors d"oeuvres served with a cash bar.

The live auction, with auctioneer Scott Perry, begins at 2 p.m. and features items ranging from four Buffalo Sabres playoff tickets to a week"s stay in a Lake Anna, Va., beach vacation home that can accommodate up to 20.

The admission and registration fee of $10 includes a chance for two to stay overnight in the Garden Palace with dinner at Salvatore"s Italian Gardens, Lancaster, but you must be present to win.

Patrons pay admission at the door, which opens at 11:30 a.m.

The event is sponsored by the Fire Department and Scott Perry.

Park President Rosemary Sansone is co-chairwoman of the event with her husband, Jim, and Nelson and Barb Colley.

"We have some really nice things for our auctions," Rosemary Sansone said, pointing to the addition this year of some historic memorabilia. The items were culled from buildings recently razed by the town in the block of East Main, Lockport and Ontario streets to make room for development.

"We have an old sign and the mermaid that hung on the wall from the old Olcott Seafood Bar," she said. "We also have a glass block from the Olcotta, which was a dance hall here in the 1940-50s. And we have a window with the name Noble Bakery Company etched into the glass. They had three shops in Lockport from about the 1870s to the early 1900s.

"We also have a lot of original artwork for our auction, antiques and sailboat cruises."

The unique Olcott Beach Carousel Park offers 25-cent rides on a Herschell-Spillman carousel and other vintage amusement rides with a view of nearby Lake Ontario from Memorial Day weekend to mid-October.

The park has been staffed entirely by volunteers, and Sansone said a wine and cheese signup is planned for 6 p.m. April 26 at Newfane Town Hall, with new volunteers welcome. Volunteers are asked to bring their calendars, as organizers will start scheduling shifts that evening, she added.

"We have about 50 volunteers, but we always need more," she said. "And this year, we have received a grant from the Grigg-Lewis Foundation to hire three students [who must be at least 16] to work four days a week."

Interested high school or college students should call Sansone at 778-7066.

The park also will conduct two more fundraisers in coming months: "JazzSea Sunset" at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Olcott Yacht Club and a Victorian Tea on Sept. 8 at the Van Horn Mansion.


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