Crittenton Will Offer a Wicked Party | Crittenton Services, Inc.

Crittenton Will Offer a Wicked Party

Above: Chef Rocco Basil, who will be preparing all the food this year for Crittenton Services' annual fundraising event, Paint the Town Pink.

A wicked time is guaranteed for all, according to the staff and volunteers planning Crittenton Services' annual fundraising gala, "Paint the Town Pink," which is embracing the theme "Wicked in Pink" this year. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, March 27 at the Wheeling Artisan Center. Wicked in Pink's major sponsor is Wheeling Hospital.

"We have planned the party with a magical guest experience in mind," said Crittenton CEO and President Kathy Szafran. "We will offer valet parking at the Main Street entrance. Upon entry, guests will be greeted by a live pink witch holding a glowing orb created by Sam DeCrease. The decor will include pink feather boas, hot pink glittery stilettos and fuchsia witch's brooms, costumed characters from 'Wicked,' a fog covered dance floor, a yellow brick road, and glowing 28" centerpieces incorporating witchy designs and peacock feathers will enhance the round tables."

One amazing element of the decorations is a huge hand-painted mural of the dragon clock from "Wicked." Coordinated through the efforts of Moundsville Regional Jail Corrections Program Specialist/Records Supervisor Sharon Yahnke, two inmates have been working for months on the painting as a part of their community service program. Inmate Lee Jones sewed the canvas together and inmate Scott Snyder rendered the incredible artwork. The mural will be a centerpiece of the decor.

Above: The Dragon Clock mural painted by an inmate of the Moundsville Correctional Facility. It will be a centerpiece of Crittenton Services' annual fundraising gala, Paint the Town Pink. This year's theme is "Wicked in Pink," and the Dragon Clock plays a central part in the inspiration for the theme, the book and Broadway musical "Wicked."

"The artwork is 11 feet by ten feet," Yahnke said. Scott started working on the art the second week of November by first sketching the whole image onto the fabric. Once he had sketched the drawing, he then spent every afternoon (about 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day and sometime in the evening) painting."

The work involved was impressive, she noted. "The dragon took him several weeks to render. For the clock part of the painting, he would first put down a watered down paint solution and let that dry before he put on other coats of paint. He did this to try to stop the paint from bleeding through to the other side of the fabric. He then began painting the clock in sections." That part again took weeks to complete. The overall effect, Szafran believes, will be spectacular.

Chef Rocco Basil will offer seven food stations featuring delicious gourmet selections including wild mushroom strudel, carved beef tenderloin, Caribbean Jerked Shrimp, Ravioli Saltimbocca and much more. To complete the meal, a fantastic dessert station and gourmet coffee bar will be offered.

The event will feature entertainment by the nine-piece Redline band. Along with an open bar, a signature Apple Martini drink will be served in glowing glasses. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on live auction items including Steelers tickets, a romance package to the Pittsburgh Omni William Penn, getaway golf weekend at the WV Stonewall Resort and WVU football tickets. In addition, guest may bid on silent auction items with anything from a Gateway Clipper Captains Dinner Cruise to teeth whitening. A raffle is also offered, for an unforgettable excursion to Broadway to see the musical "Wicked." The winner of the raffle, valued at $2500, needs not be present.

Now in its seventh year, Paint the Town Pink is a highly-anticipated evening of exquisite cuisine, socializing, music, and dancing. "This is the most important fundraising event of the year for Crittenton Services," according to Szafran. "The support and generosity of our sponsors and guests at Paint the Town Pink make it possible for us to continue to make a positive impact in the lives of the children and families we serve."

The locally-operated nonprofit agency has been helping transform the lives of young women in the Wheeling area since 1895. Formerly known as the Florence Crittenton Home, the agency has evolved from its initial identity as one of Charles Crittenton's homes for "wayward" women.

Today, the agency embraces children and families in need with nurturing services to help them achieve self sufficiency through its residential program and its outpatient programs under the Wellspring Family Services banner. It also operates the Cradles to Crayons Childcare Centers and an Intensive Educational and Outpatient Treatment Program for adolescent girls in Ohio County.

Other than Wheeling Hosiptal, other major sponsors include the Christian Fellowship Foundation, the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley, WesBanco, Costanzo & Associates, Jackson-Kelly, DiCarlo's Pizza and Altmeyer Funeral Home.

Tickets are available for purchase at $75.00 for singles and $150.00 for a couple. For additional information about Crittenton Services and Paint the Town Pink, contact Butch Maxwell at 304 242-7060, or visit