Laissez les bon temps rouler: Let the good times roll

Warwick. The eighth annual Mardi Gras for a Cause raises more than $17,000 and still counting for the Backpack Snack Attack program.

| 10 Mar 2020 | 12:56

The Mardi Gras for a Cause Planning Committee is delighted to report that the eighth annual Mardi Gras for a Cause celebration, held on Tuesday, Feb. 25, was successful beyond its expectations.

More than 600 participants joined an evening of live music and fun for all ages celebrated in the Village of Warwick and modeled after the tradition of New Orleans.

The event raised $17,330 and still counting for Backpack Snack Attack, an outreach program of the Warwick Reformed Church that provides food on weekends during the school year to nearly 300 children within the Florida, Greenwood Lake and Warwick Public school districts.

Backpack Snack Attack has no overhead and 100 percent of the donated money goes to food and backpacks for the children.

This year’s proceeds were $1,151 more than last year and brought the total raised since the inaugural event to $87,587. And it could be more than $18,000 when the final tally comes in.

That should cover the cost of more than 3,200 meals.

"It really does take a village to organize, implement and support an initiative like Mardi Gras for a Cause,” said Mardi Gras impresario and Backpack Snack Attack volunteer John Desibia. “And the Village of Warwick, the Town of Warwick and neighboring communities have been very supportive.

He added: “Special shout outs of heartfelt thanks are necessary to acknowledge all 15 acts and bands involving 66 performers and the Young Performers Open Mic hosts Jim Elwell and Jeff Benoit, Mardi Gras Jam and Dance Party host Mike O'Brien, sound man extraordinaire Will Orosz, all 13 of our great local restaurants, pubs and Fat Tuesday venues and their staff, and to all 34 great and giving day of event volunteers.”

Shirley Puett, executive director of Backpack Snack Attack, said "We are so blessed and because of the support of the community we have never had to turn away any family or child needing the support of our program services."

Event Chairman Jeff Alario expressed kudos for the Mardi Gras Planning Committee and Volunteers' great work, thanking them all for their time and contributions that ensured the event's success.

- Roger Gavan

Sponsors, supporters and prize-winners
Sponsors and supporters of the eighth annual Mardi Gras for a Cause include:
· Top Individual Donor: Harry Lierow.
· Top Golden Ticket Raffle Sales: Tom Dempsey.
· Top Supporting Organization: Greenwood Lake School District Teacher's Association and Faculty.
· Top Supporting Venue(s): Adam Powers for Baird's Tavern, Fetch and Village Billiards
· Top Day of Event Revenue Venue location: Halligan's
· Jam & After Party Sponsor: Nexxt Enterprises, LLC
· Young Performers Open Mic Sponsors: ShopRite and Alto Music
· Mardi Gras Friends: Warwick Press, WTBQ, Michael Johndrow and the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Michael Newhard.
Golden Ticket Raffle winners
First prize: Melissa Hebert
Second prize: Mike Vernieri
Third prize: Jean Zimmer