Supporters arrived by car, motorcycle, and even bicycle to the Love for Lori fundraiser held on Sunday, July 8, at Black Bear Tavern in Oak Ridge. The weather cooperated and, with the decreased humidity, people came out in droves. Although there was no official tally of patrons, an estimated 300 supporters had visited by 5 p.m.
The fundraiser was held to help Oak Ridge resident Lori DeMaria-Bauer, who was recently diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Vendors, friends, co-workers, and residents donated a plethora of food and many hours of hard work to create the show of support. A tricky tray offered donated prizes such as a guitar, an electric fireplace, and gift certificates from local businesses. Eight local bands donated their time and talent to keep patrons entertained.
DeMaria-Bauer was able to make a brief appearance about 4 p.m. Her arrival prompted cheers and well wishes, and the picture captured by The Jefferson Chronicle shows she has not lost her sense of humor. The crowds were large and the noise level high, and she left after a short visit. Her chemotherapy was starting the next day.
Donors and Volunteers Rally
Patrons, however, continued to give their support throughout the evening. Black Bear owner Mala Carrozza told The Jefferson Chronicle, “Many people gave more than the ticket price of $25.” Tricky tray tickets and additional donations also helped to make the event a great success. Manager Al Fiorenza began set-up for the event at 6 a.m. and did not appear to stop running until after the party ended. Black Bear was closed to regular business for the day; the focus of all the staff was on the special event.
It takes many volunteers to make such an occasion successful with only three weeks of preparation. The volume of volunteers, the number of donations, and the crowd of patrons clearly demonstrated that countless people have "Love for Lori.”
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