American rally at Stateline tonight |

American rally at Stateline tonight

Susan Wood

Wishing to turn those tears of grief into acts of relief in Lake Tahoe?

Businesses will offer such a venue at 5:30 tonight in the Horizon Casino Resort parking lot. American Fare, as it’s called, promises all the fanfare of a patriotic rally and then some.

“That’s what it’s all about. It’s an opportunity for us to turn to our fellow Americans and stand strong,” organizer Jana Walker said Monday.

Walker got the idea when it appeared her homespun Tahoe Businesses Who Care network could successfully sponsor an event to show the American spirit was not lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Singing is scheduled – including performances from the South Tahoe Middle School choir – along with instrumentals from a 17-piece jazz band, dancing, a raffle, silent auction, food and service booths and speakers. The Carnival Cabaret performers are also slated to entertain.

The cost is $5, with all the proceeds to be donated to the American Red Cross.

The goal is $40,000, Walker said. More than 500 tickets have been presold.

The owner-operator of Sealed with a Kiss and Lakefront Wedding Chapel has been very successful in her current fund-raising organizational efforts. Just a week after the terrorist attack, Tahoe Businesses surpassed its $20,000 goal by $3,000.

“It’s a way for me to not think about the devastation. When I’m not the one pulling the rubble off the bodies, I need to do something for the loved ones of those whose lives have been lost,” Walker said. “I thought, ‘How can we go about selling lingerie with all that’s going on?'”

On the day of the tragedy, Walker and her army of volunteers agreed to donate half the amount of sales made in her lingerie business to the Red Cross. Ernie’s Coffee Shop joined the effort, giving up its entire profit that horrific day. Two weeks later, 34 businesses were reported to have signed up to donate at least $300 to the cause.

They represent a cross-section of the business community, including: Alpen Sierra Coffee Co., Alpina Cafe, Chocolate Factory, Crystal Dairy, Cutting Edge Sports, Dory’s Oar Restaurant, Fragrance Outlet, Laub & Laub Attorneys, M&R Construction, MS Dixie II, Office Depot, Shoreline Sports, Sno-Flake Drive In, Strange Brew Coffee, Substation Deli, Turn 3 Peanut Bar, Video Maniacs and Vienna Cafe.

Some businesses have agreed to donate time and items to include in the silent auction of the rally, which is co-sponsored by Horizon Casino, KRLT radio and Resort Sports Network.

Walker has been amazed by the outpouring of support. The Factory Outlet Stores at the “Y” bought 120 tickets for the rally, and three local auto dealerships pooled their resources to buy 100 tickets and donate a fleet of cars.

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