With the theme “It Had to Be You,” the third annual Valentine’s Extravaganza on Saturday, February 10, just had to be special, and it was.

The fundraiser hosted by Altrusa International of Hot Springs Village, AR, Inc. started with romantic, danceable jazz songs by the Clyde Pound Trio and a scrumptious meal prepared by Melinda’s Café & Coffee – salad, Chicken Cordon Bleu, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, and crème brulée for dessert.


Jazz band Clyde Pound Trio entertain the audience at the Altrusa Valentine’s Extravaganza.

After welcoming remarks from Altrusa of HSV President Melanie Pederson, “Sonny and Cher” made a surprise visit. Altrusan Carol Heckert as Sonny and Altrusa supporter Craig Stephens as Cher were the perfect ‘70s duo. Cher never looked more glamorous, even after a wardrobe malfunction caused “her” to perform barefoot. The show must go on, though one of the heels broke off Cher’s platform shoes. And Sonny … well, “he” still looked silly.


Altrusan Carol L. Heckert (Sonny) and friend of Altrusa, Craig Stephens (Cher), surprise the crowd at the Altrusa Valentine’s Extravaganza.

Then Voices Rising took to the stage with an elegant rendition of love songs, starting with “Where Is Love” and, of course, including a medley of “Somebody Loves Me … It Had to Be You.” Guests were invited to dance during some of the songs, and Voices Rising bass singer Jim Servais and his spouse Leah performed a special and cute dance to “All of Me.”


Leah and Jim Servais perform special dance at Altrusa’s Valentine’s Extravaganza.

The evening began and ended with thanks to all the sponsors, donors, and guests who made the night a success. Their generosity helps Altrusa of HSV pay for its many service projects, including scholarships to seniors at area high schools who maintain a 4.0 average for all four years of high school; scholarships for nontraditional nursing students at National Park College, Comfort Kits containing clothing for victims of sexual assault, whose clothing is taken as evidence; free hearing screenings for the community; Birthday Books for students at Mountain Pine Elementary School and many other community projects.

Valentine’s Extravaganza – A Night to Remember 1

Altrusan Amanda Allen and her husband Russ Allen dance at Extravaganza.

Altrusa of HSV is part of Altrusa International, a worldwide service organization founded in 1917. The HSV chapter has served the community since 2004. Find information about the club at Facebook.com/AltrusaHSV or districteight.altrusa.org/hot-springs-village.

To learn more or attend a meeting, contact Membership Chair Mary Kramer at 215-740-0678 or email mqdelp@gmail.com.

Featured image by Susan McCarty: Voices Rising gives delightful performance at Altrusa Extravaganza.

By Amanda Allen, Altrusa Communication Chair; Photographers: Amanda Allen, Biane Bielanski, and Susan McCarty

Click here to read “Home Plate Donates to Altrusa Twice in February.”

Click here to contact the HSV Gazette.

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