A-Ray of Elvis comes to HCHS

By Lori O' Brien


HOLYOKE If you have an Elvis fan on your holiday gift list, you may want to consider tickets to a unique fund-raising event that benefits Holyoke Catholic High School (HCHS).

Ray Guillemette Jr., aka A-Ray of Elvis, will be featured during the Blue Hawaii Dinner Show slated Jan. 13 at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive in Chicopee. Guillemette is a 1987 graduate of HCHS and is well known locally and nationally as an top-notch Elvis Tribute Artist.

"The tropical paradise theme offers guests a warm winter getaway during the cold month of January," said Bonnie Zima Dowd, director of advancement, HCHS, during an interview with Reminder Publications. "Hawaii is a heavenly place to visit if only for an evening."

Fred King, morning host on Real Oldies, 1250 AM WARE, will serve as emcee for the evening. Doors open at 5 p.m. Dinner features salad with rolls, baked stuffed chicken with red roasted garlic potatoes, seasonal julienne vegetables, cheesecake and beverage. A vegetarian meal is also an option.

Guillemette's performance is planned for 90 minutes with a brief intermission. Activities also slated during the evening include a raffle and party games.

A 30-member committee comprised of parents, grandparents, board members, alumni, friends and staff from the surrounding communities represents a diverse cross-section of the HCHS familial community, according to Dowd.

"While there are many special events that raise money for area charities, we encourage those who have benefited from a Catholic education or whose children have benefited from a Catholic education to attend this event and support HCHS," said Dowd.

Dowd added that it is critical for Holyoke Catholic to continue its mission of educating area young men and women academically, socially, physically and spiritually.

"HCHS teaches Christian values," said Dowd, adding "in today's world, it's not enough for us to give our young people an education, we must also provide them with the values upon which to build their lives."

Dowd explained that what sets Holyoke Catholic's dinner show event apart is "not just a fun-filled evening with a live concert, it's an opportunity for the community to demonstrate their commitment to a Catholic college preparatory education and support the next generation."

Committee members hope to net $15,000 from the fundraiser which will be used to sustain and advance the mission of HCHS which serves more than 300 students annually.

"This event is a major part of the high school's annual fundraising efforts to furnish the necessary resources to provide an exceptional educational experience," said Dowd, adding "one that is based on values and faith."

Tickets are $50 per person which includes the dinner and show. Tables of eight are also available.

Organizations, individuals and businesses are also encouraged to consider dinner sponsorships which are available in three levels: platinum, gold and silver.

For information on tickets and sponsorships, call HCHS at 467-2477, ext. 172. Persons interested in purchasing tickets can also call Joan Partyka at 592-0527.