~Shared by T. Compton
Hugs from Sharon Bedrosian, Woodloch's Meal Reservation Specialist, come straight from the heart.
My sis, Cherryl Hessling, and I had just left the stage, knees still knocking after singing two songs: "Hey Santa" and "You're in Love" at Woodloch's Crisis Fund Show, a fund originally established by Woodloch employees back in 1986 as a means of assisting staff members in times of need.
Had we even sung the right words?
Practice in an empty auditorium is one thing, but bring on the bright lights and an audience, and the adrenaline starts pumping (I believe they call it the fight or flight response :)
A jolly old elf, Craig Bower, had generously joined us on stage for our second act. That helped a lot, as did Sharon rushing forward with words of praise and warm hugs, telling us we'd sung well - that we'd brought tears to her eyes.
That's who Sharon is; the one who puts it all together, who treats each talent with love and care.
And trust me, there was plenty of talent. All 19 acts gave of themselves, bringing laughter and singing, poetry and dance, musicians and a magic act. And let's not leave out the crescendo -- the Kiesendahl Family, owners of Woodloch, brought the house down.
Hats off to all who made the night a success: "In the Garden" and "My Wild Irish Rose" sung by the Stourbridge Lion (a quartet from Northeasters Barbershop Chorus) featuring Scottie Ogden, Elmer Day, Frank Boast, and Jeff Granger; "Salsa Delight" dance featuring Amanda Gallo and Luis Tejada; Captain Apathy skit featuring Shari Denker and Adrian DiGiovanni; songs by Jim "Doc" Mould accompanied by Harry Petaccio on piano; "What I Did for Love" sung by Cara Stakowski accompanied by Harry Petaccio on piano; "The Skeletar is Back" featuring Luis Tejada; a magic act by Harry Petaccio; and "Let it Go" (from the movie Frozen) featuring Jacqlyn Olecki accompanied by Justin Taraschuk.
The second act began with Briana Torres playing guitar and singing "Radioactive," followed by Woodloch's Sweethearts in fine Zumba form, featuring: Amanda Gallo, Chris Bower, Cara Stokowski, Sharon Bedrosian, Sue Guccini, Tess Murray and Amy Beilman; "Guns & DC" featuring Sam Abuschinow; "I Could Chew on This & Other Poems By Dogs" featuring Adrian DiGiovanni; "Columbia Pete" featuring Amanda Gallo and Luis Tejada; "When You Wish Upon A Star" featuring Rich Perrotta on guitar followed by Jen Kiesendahl's "Route 66" with Rich accompanying; "Young Frankenstein" featuring Randy Barnes and Patrick Kiesendahl; "Listen to Your Heart" featuring a remake sung by Wayne Howell Jr.; Social Staff's choreographed dance; and The Kiesendahl Family.
Special thanks to those Woodloch staff members who worked tirelessly behind the scenes: Nichole Granville, Luis Tejada, Debbie Katz,Chris Engel, Nancy Kutz, Sandy Kowalczyk, Sue Nordenhold, Phyllis Donohue, Dee Austin, Charles Knapp, Krystal Schrieber, The Bar Staff, The Country Store and The Woodloch Pines Kitchen.
Woodloch's Crisis Fund is all about helping others. Here's the background story as shared by Sharon Bedrosian:
"The first Crisis Fund Show was held in November of 1988. This fund was set up by Woodloch employees to benefit employees. Two days before the very first show, a fatal fire claimed the life of a staff member's brother. The tragic fire is a perfect example of why this fund was established.
"Since its inception, we have held shows every other dyear. The Woodloch Family donates the Heritage Club for us to perform a myriad of both silly and talented acts. All ticket sales, baked goods and 50 percent of the bar sales go into the fund. We also receive donations from vendors, guests and others for a 'tricky tray' to raise additional funds.
"Sadly, we have had many occasions throughout the years to help staff through the Crisis Fund. Fortunately, we are able to lend a helping hand.
"Charlie McHale was one of our first staff to be helped. He was a dishwasher here for years. He was also a 'hero' veteran of WWII. He developed lung cancer and was being treated at Walter Reed Hospital. He loved the Boston Red Sox, so we got him complimentary tickets to a game and he was able to help fill his bucket list.
"One of our housekeepers, Ken Ackerman, had a fire in his home. He was in the process of getting everyone out and had gone back in for his baby. Sadly, they both perished. The Crisis Fund helped, as did many Woodloch staff.
"We held a square dance for another longtime staff member in our Maintenance Department, Brian "Newt" Hafler. Sadly, Brian got his wings shortly thereafter. The money raised was used by his family.
"We have noted money to staff for airline tickets to be with loved ones in time of need, to buy gas for staff undergoing chemo, radiation or other critical situations, and to purchase gift certificates from local supermarkets for families in need. It's what the fund is all about - helping families in crisis."