USO-style show brings back favorite performers

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Bob Hope. Patsy Cline. Peggy Lee. Rosemary Clooney. Big band drummer Gene Krupa.

Those and many other stars lit up the night at a USO-style show held Saturday night by the Adams County Red Cross &045; a fundraiser organizers said will now become an annual event.

Due largely to the area’s economic woes, United Way funds to the local Red Cross dropped 80 percent this year, Red Cross Executive Director John Goodrich said, taking time out from the show at the National Guard Armory.

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That makes it crucial to hold fundraisers such as Saturday’s show, Goodrich said.

All proceeds from the show will fund programs in Adams County, from helping victims of house fires to holding CPR classes.

As far as disasters are concerned, &uot;we’re supposed to be able to handle up to a $50,000 disaster on our own&uot; before funding from the national level kicks in, said the chapter’s Don Winter, disaster relief chairman.

Sharon Goodrich, fundraising chairwoman and wife of John Goodrich, said she came up woke up in the middle of the night with the idea.

From that point, she and other volunteers had just two months to organize the event &045; but Sharon Goodrich acknowledged it was for a good cause. &uot;When we got that United Way funding, we knew we had to do something,&uot; she said.

But in addition to being for a good cause, the event served as a fun diversion for people from the Miss-Lou and beyond.

Houston resident Carlos Levesma was scheduled to travel through the area anyway and, when he saw the event listed on a Web site, knew he had to attend.

&uot;And it’s been quite an experience,&uot; he said, clapping along to Peggy Lee’s (Janet McNeely’s) rendition of &uot;Fever.&uot;

For others, the highlight of the evening was an appearance by none other than &uot;Elvis&uot; who, clad in a white jumpsuit, began passing out embraces and multicolored scarves to the audience, including Mary Jane Gaudet of Natchez.

How did it feel to touch Elvis in person?

&uot;My heart throbbed, my legs grew weak, I thought I was going to pass out,&uot; Gaudet said after meeting him in person. &uot;I thought, ‘I can die now.’&uot;