The Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) club at Cayuga Community College is headed in a new direction: joining the "Flight" to support Air 1. FBLA-PBL, in coordination with students from a new Event Planning class at Cayuga, and the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES New Visions Legal Studies class, is hosting a "Daddy Daughter Air 1 Benefit Ball." The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 20 at the new Sennett Fire Hall on 3526 Franklin Street, Auburn.
The Air 1 rescue helicopter lost funding from Onondaga County last year and is trying to raise $595,000 annually to keep providing this critical service to Onondaga and surrounding counties, including Cayuga and Oswego, which recently agreed to pay Onondaga County $10,000 for Air 1 service, according to news reports.
According to Deputy Chief for the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department John Balloni, over the past five years, the Air 1 helicopter has averaged 7.2 missions to Cayuga County each year. Almost all of those flights involved life-saving missions.
The fund-raiser is being coordinated by Dawn Perrault, PBL member and business student at Cayuga. Perrault has a very personal motivation for supporting Air 1. "Both of my sons have been seriously injured resulting in airlifts – two months apart," she said. "Luckily for us – air rescue was available. I tied my desire to help Air 1 into my Event Planning class project."
Working with a budget of "zero" dollars, Perrault contacted both Onondaga and Cayuga County Sheriff's Departments, gained their support, and began planning the fundraiser. The New Visions students are supporting the project as community service. Perrault met with the Sennett Fire Department Board of Directors and presented the idea. They unanimously decided to donate their fire hall to the cause.
The Sunset Restaurant will provide the dinner buffet at a substantial discount, which is expected to be covered by ticket sales. Musical Entertainment for the evening is "Jocelyn w/Fretshredder" who have performed at several area Daddy Daughter Dances, and they will also be donating their time and services.
Students in the Event Planning class, under the direction of Professor Amy Valente, are required to work on a major event project worth almost one-third of their final grade. Students are allowed to either choose from a list of area events already in progress or create their own event.
For Perrault, the hardest part of the class assignment is finding the funds to support an event that means so much to her and her family.
"There is a lot more to do, and I am hoping that we can gain more support from our community as we move towards our date," Perrault said. "We are in the process of going door-to-door for donations for things like paper products, balloon bouquets, wrist corsages, beverages, servers, door prizes, and more. All help is appreciated and all donations are welcome."
Registration for the event is advance-sale only and priced at $35 per couple, $15 per additional daughter. Dinner is included. Anyone wishing to attend the event or donate items, time, or services can contact Dawn Perrault at 315-560-1780.