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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Big hearts shell
out $300,000

Night of giving supports kids wishes,
Camp Rainbow Gold

Express Staff Writer

"Itís infectious, ladies and gentleman!" announced auctioneer Larry Flynn during the live auction part of the Share Your Heart Ball.

And, indeed, the hullabaloo Saturday evening extended to good cheer and exceptional altruism to gracious tug at your heart moments. The more people raised their hands and bid, the more others joined in to give, too. Ultimately, the annual event raised approximately $300,000 to support Camp Rainbow Gold and Idaho Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Rob and Kris Cronin accept a check from Amanda Stelling, center, and Kara McNamara of Girl Scout Troop 602 at the Share Your Heart Ball. Express photo by Willy Cook

Camp Rainbow Gold, located 12 miles north of Ketchum, takes approximately 75 children with cancer every summer for a free week of activities. Make-A-Wish is a national foundation that grants wishes to children with life threatening diseases. All the money raised in Idaho stays in the state for the Idaho wish kids.

"I was blown away," Camp Director and ball organizer Rob Cronin said following the annul event at the Limelight Room of the Sun Valley Inn. "We were completely overwhelmed during the auction."

Among the amazing moments during the ball was the auctioning off of a lithograph of a painting by 10-year-old Elysa Logullo, of Hailey.

First, Elysaís father, Mark Logullo, spoke on behalf of his family about what the two organizations have meant to them. Elysa was a camper and a wish kid and made the string art used for the invitations to the ball a week before she died last year. The only lithograph of the artwork was auctioned off for $10,000 and then given to the Logullos. The Logullos, who have the original painting, donated the lithograph back. It was again auctioned off, this time for $7,500. Finally, it was donated to Camp Rainbow Gold, where it will be exhibited annually. At that point there wasnít a dry eye in the place.

The 450 guests of the ball enjoyed many such moments.

Clayton Anderson sings his rendition of "King of the Road" for the capacity crowd, while Rob Cronin, in Mardi Gras attire, looks on. Express photo by Willy Cook

Silver Sage Girl Scout Troop 602 donated $100 of its own money. Camper Clayton Anderson sang his signature song performed yearly during the campís talent show, "King of the Road." The crowd joined in during the final stanza.

"My mission is no one goes to bed without a hug," Anderson said from the stage.

Jo Jarvis, another camper and Make-A-Wish kid, sang her song, "Bravest of the Knights," which she recorded professionally in Los Angeles for her wish.

"Camp Rainbow Gold is a huge part of my life," she said. "I was no longer a patient, I was a kid. And Make-A-Wish drastically blessed me again. I went to L.A. to make a CD. I never quit smiling. Camp Rainbow Gold and Make-A-Wish change the lives of kids like me. I can never thank them enough."

The silent auction tables weaved there way around one part of the room, where an authentic Mardi Gras float was surrounded by a raw seafood bar. When the time came, the Wood River High School Dixie Band led the float, guests and a Girl Scout troop into the main room where the dinner, auction and dance were held.

Speaking of the dance, the band "Grooveline" seemed to further inspire those in attendance. Several valley residents were induced onto the stage to sing tunes, including Heidi Albrechtís sultry rendition of "Wild Thing," and Ramie Dennehy and Tina Quarles rocking rendition of "Rebel Yell."

Todd Rippo led a modified congo line, up and across the stage.

Main sponsors included Ketchum-based Hamilton Jewelers and www.Cancerconsultants.com, who paid for a film crew to make a video of Camp Rainbow Gold that was shown during the event.

"This community is one of the most generous communities on this earth," Flynn announced at the conclusion.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.