On Friday, July 31, the Welsh family hosted their 9th annual Bash in the Backyard to benefit FARA. Over the course of the last 9 years, the bash has allowed the Welsh family to raise and donate upwards of $200,000.00 to support the efforts of the folks at FARA. Obviously, they know how to hold a successful fundraiser by now. The event this year was no exception. As of right now, over $23,000 was raised as was an invaluable amount of awareness.
The event began long before July 31. It all started with Francine Welsh soliciting area businesses for monetary donations or for items to contribute to the raffle carried out on the night of the event. In the cases of Outback Steakhouse and Victory Brewing Co., this call was answered by providing appetizers and an additional keg of beer (respectively) for the event. The invitation to donate and/or attend the event was extended to neighbors, friends, coworkers, extended family members, etc. of the Welshes. In addition to their donations, they also graciously gave of their time to help with the incredible transformation of the yard for one night from your everyday backyard to a grassroots-fundraising-paradise!
One important type of donation yet to be mentioned is the donation of talents. Year after year, this is given by friends of the family, Neil and Patrick and their awesome gift for making music. Annually, they meet and exceed the guests' expectations to simply be entertained.
Sadly, the music must come to an end eventually. When it does, the Welshes are there to keep the party going. The winners of the basket raffle were announced. There were, as the attendees have come to expect, some fantastic prizes including a two-night stay at a Bed & Breakfast in the Outer Banks (donated by Sharon Brodisch), a weekend at a cottage in Mount Gretna (donated by the Bradley family), and two tickets to the Penn State vs. Illinois football game (donated by Dustie and Randy Day). These few examples only begin to portray the quality and amount of the donated raffle prizes.
In the middle of announcing the raffle winners, Pete and Brendan addressed the crowd with the goal of explaining just some of the things that FARA does for members of the FA community...things that are made possible via the selfless generosity shown by guests at fundraisers like the bash. For this, the Welshes are eternally grateful and did their best to portray this level of gratitude to the patrons.