2017 Lake Erie Gala Recap
from Melanie Shubitowski/Erie Sisters and Brothers
The 2017 Lake Erie Gala was held at the Clarion Hotel, 2800 W 8th St, Erie PA. The annual event, sponsored by the Lake Erie Group and Erie Sisters and Brothers (ES&B), began Wed. November 15th with the opening of registration, a pool and pizza party at the hotel, and optional bowling at Eastway Lanes.
The event had a nautical theme, and Thursday's bus tour to the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Museum included a narrated video presentation on the journey of great lakes iron ore shipping, given by ES&B president, Melanie Shubitowski. Melanie's late father was a captain for US Steel, and she had grown up spending as much as half of her summers aboard US Steel ore boats, and shared some of the knowledge she acquired. The Fairport Harbor Museum held a great deal of artifacts from the shipping industry, including the light from the lighthouse, a wealth of pictures, the lighthouse, and the pilot house from the Cleveland Cliffs ore boat, the Frontenac. Following the tour, the group had a fabulous (and large) lunch at the Old Firehouse Winery in Geneva on-the-Lake, Ohio before returning to the hotel. After dinner, we were treated to entertainment by Dueling Pianos, a favorite of Gala attendees, followed by dancing and music.
Friday's bus tour began at Yahn Planetarium at Penn State Behrand, where we were given a presentation of how Lewis and Clark used celestial navigation to plot their trek to the Pacific Coast and back. Lunch on the tour was at Freeport Restaurant, then on to Brix 21, a charming winery with a signature pink elephant out front to greet guests, or perhaps warn them of the hazards of too much indulgence. After arrival at the hotel, the dinner was a Hawaiian Luau, with a juggler providing the night's entertainment.
Saturday began with free time for shopping, a special lunch for spouses and SO's, and the evening saw our traditional "Glitter Ball", and we had a group of Canadian shoppers that were in town joining us that evening. Vendors were also in attendance at the event. Sunday morning was a breakfast and tearful good byes to dear friends as the Lake Erie Gala concluded. All in all, it was a wonderful time, and another successful Gala.
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