Successful SOS basket party
SOS Secret Santa of Somerset & Surrounding Areas held a benefit basket party May 5 that had to be moved to Somerset Junior High School because of the number of people attending. (Submitted photo / May 12, 2013)
Because of the overwhelming interest, the party that was orginally scheduled to take place at St. Peter School, had to switch venues to the Somerset Junior High School for an additional 200 seats.
The group is led by Ruth A. Baer of Somerset. Particpants started lining up by noon and by 1 p.m., the line was down the side walk and across the bridge. The doors opened at 1:30 p.m. More than 500 people came out to support the organization.
Tammy Bailey, co-chairwoman said "We had visitors from Indiana, Pittsburgh, Johnstown Brownsville, Califonia and as far as West Virgina, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky."
There wasn't a seat left in the school.
Nearly 300 gift baskets, gift certificates and door prizes that were donated from local businesses and individuals were featured.
"The local businesses have shown support for our mission. They realize there is a great need for us in the area and have stepped up to help us help others," Ruth Baer said.
SOS's mission is to "deliver smiles and holiday cheer to our neighbors in need." The organization has set goals for 2013, that of to touch the lives of 2,013 members in the community. This goal makes it neccessary to have several fundraisers.
The money raised at the event will be used directly to deliver smiles. The organization is made up of 100 percent volunteers. It is planning on sponsoring families in Somerset and surrounding areas.
"We will go as far as our money and volunteers will allow us to go," said Baer.
SOS monthly meetings are open to everyone. They travel to different businesses to hold the meetings, to give each town the opportunity to spend the day with the group. The June meeting is June 10 in Richland at Quaker Steak and Lube. July 2 they meet in Richland at Five Guys Burgers & Fries.
They are looking for additional volunteers of all ages. For additional information, find them on Facebook or the web at http:// www.sossecretsanta.org, or call 814-352-8493.