New Year’s fundraiser planned

Published 10:20 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The hottest place in Suffolk to be on New Year’s Eve will be at the First Lady, where a dinner and dance will be held to benefit Suffolk Project Lifesaver and the Firefighters Benevolent Fund.

Organizers are putting the event together at the last minute after just deciding to do it last week. However, they expect a good crowd for the shindig, which is set to include a champagne toast at midnight.

“It was an opportunity to try to make some money” for the two organizations, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Lt. Mason Copeland said.

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The Project Lifesaver program, which currently has 43 participants, signs up clients with conditions that put them at risk of wandering, such as Alzheimer’s or autism. It fits them with a tracking device that can be used in combination with special tracking equipment to find them quickly — often within minutes — once the missing person is reported.

The program relies on donations, fundraisers and grants and charges only nominal fees to participants if they are able to pay. Even though it takes no money from the local, state or federal governments, it saves untold amounts of government money that would be spent in a protracted search for a missing person. More importantly, it gives families peace of mind. Money will go toward purchasing new tracking equipment.

The Firefighters Benevolent Fund assists firefighters enduring hardships. Those who receive assistance may have catastrophic medical bills for themselves or a family member or some other emergency.

“It kind of helps them in a hard spot,” Copeland said. “It’s not a handout. They have to qualify.”

Copeland said the event is tentatively planned for 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Tickets are $40 each and must be reserved no later than Dec. 23. Call Copeland at 754-8787 or email