On January 11, 2017

Local “newly” weds to compete for charity

Pack The Paramount food drive reorganizes
RUTLAND—Pack the Paramount, which has annually filled seats at the Paramount Theatre with tons of food for the Rutland Community Cupboard, BROC Community Food Shelf and Salvation Army, is changing names and focus. It will now be known as Pack The Paramount–The “Newly”wed Game Rutland.
With an eye toward significantly increasing its impact on donations and public awareness of hunger issues, organizers of one of Rutland County’s largest annual food drives are completely revamping the signature event into an entertainment fundraiser. All proceeds will be split equally among the three food banks.
“Instead of bags of food, we will aim to fill the Paramount with people for a fun, entertaining evening of laughs,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello, one of the organizers. “With the Vermont Food Bank now in Rutland, we’re turning our attention to raising funds so the food shelves can buy exactly what they want—at prices well below retail.”
The annual event is modeled after the popular television game show and will be held on the Saturday closest to Valentine’s Day, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Eight couples will compete on the Paramount stage. They range from true newlyweds to one couple celebrating more than 55 years of marriage. Comedian and magician Tom Joyce will host.
Attendees can renew their vows at the event and have a chance to win prizes. Children may attend, but parents are reminded that the night’s content may not be suitable for all ages.
Couples include Gwen and Joel Flewelling, Tom and Tricia Huebner, Ed and Fran Kelly, Peg and Joe Kraus, Brent and Amanda Godnick, Ryan and Rebecca Buonadonna, Rich and Jess Cowden, and Angelo and Bessie Centini. Four couples each will square off in two rounds, with the top two couples from each group competing in the finals.
Terry Jaye, program manager at Catamount Radio, said the change represented a natural progression for Pack The Paramount after more than a decade. “This event, like the Gift-of-Life Marathon and Walk A Mile, is focused equally on raising awareness of issues and addressing them,” Jaye said. “We think the new model will have people talking more than ever about the event, which will bring a lot more attention to the issue of hunger in Rutland County.”
Paramount Programming Director Eric Mallette added, “Like the original TV show, the only thing that will be predictable will be that it is unpredictable.”

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