Red Cross ready to paint the town red

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2005


Susan Daniels of Suffolk walked away a double winner from last year’s Paint the Town Red fundraiser for the American Red Cross, Suffolk chapter. She not only had the winning bid for a 10-day Holland America cruise, but she also won a 1/4 carat diamond given as a door prize.

She hopes to repeat her luck at this year’s event, to be held Tuesday, March 15 at Cedar Point Country Club. But even if she doesn’t, the community will be the winner regardless.

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Daniels, operations supervisor for the Norfolk office of the Social Security Administration, and her husband, Tim, a facility maintenance specialist for Navy Public Works, have lived in Suffolk’s Kings Point neighborhood for 12 years. They have attended the Red Cross fund-raiser for the last three years.

Daniels always enjoys the event.

&uot;It is a fun event…supported by Suffolk businesses who donate items for the auction,&uot; she said. &uot;There are celebrity waiters and waitresses who collect tips. We have a great time, whether we win or not.&uot;

In 2003, they successfully bid on a weekend at a condo on Emerald Isle, N.C. In 2004, they decided to try their luck on the top prize, a 10-day cruise to anywhere Holland America traveled.

&uot;We hadn’t been on a cruise in a while, and we knew we could leave out of Norfolk,&uot; she said. &uot;The cruise was one of the first items up for bid, however, and we were the third bid. We thought it would go up but it didn’t.&uot;

They took their cruise in January.

&uot;When we left, it was 32 degrees here. We visited St. Thomas, the Bahamas, St. Marteen, St. John, Antigua and San Juan. It was a nice warm break from the winter.&uot;

Daniels also was the recipient of the 1/4 carat diamond donated by D.B. Bowles Jewelers. For a $5 donation, attendees received a champagne glass. All but one glass had a cubic zirconia inside; that remaining one had a diamond.

Daniels couldn’t resist.

&uot;I bought five and took them to the jeweler to be checked,&uot; she said. &uot;I was joking with them and said maybe I have the real thing. I couldn’t believe it when she told me that I did. I had it put in a pendant.

&uot;When she heard about me, a woman who had a glass from the previous year brought hers in to be checked,&uot; she continued. &uot;She had been driving it around with it in the glove compartment of her car.

&uot;The jeweler had two winners come in within two weeks.&uot;

The annual Red Cross Paint the Town Red Celebrity Benefit and Auction will be on March 15 at Cedar Point Country Club. The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. with wine and cheese, followed at 6:30 p.m. with heavy hors d’oeurves and the celebrity challenge, then the auction.

Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased by calling Donna Perry, financial

development coordinator for the Suffolk chapter of the American Red Cross, at 679-3993. All proceeds benefit local programs and services in Suffolk.

Celebrity waiters include Del. Chris Jones, Sandra Parker of WVEC-TV13, Kerrie Mattson Furey and John Massey of WAVY-TV 10, Sonny Andre of WVKL-FM95.7, Shawn Austin of 103 JAMZ, Maralyn &uot;Mad Dog&uot; Hershey of &uot;Survivor&uot; fame, and many familiar local faces.

Former mayor Dana Dickens will serve as auctioneer, and Hampton Roads’ favorite disc jockey, Joe Hoppel, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Auction items include a 7-day Caribbean cruise; spa packages; getaway weekends at Emerald Isle, the Outer Banks and Virginia Beach; a cameo guest appearance on &uot;The FBI Files;&uot; and a Thomas Kinkade limited edition print.

ets for the Virginia Opera, Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Ballet and Virginia Tech football; Walt Disney World Hopper passes; art; dinner gift certificates, and other items.

Susan Daniels hasn’t decided what to bid on yet, but she is sure that the community will be the ultimate winner.

&uot;The Red Cross is out there for everybody, especially in a disaster – this is one way we can be there for them.&uot;