This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Tara Pagotto about Swingin’ with Swing Fever Dance Band, which raises money for the Jack of Hearts — PA pediatric cardiac foundation .
Family: Husband, John, and children, Nicholas, 17; Alex, 15; Natalie, 12; and Aaron, 9
Professional background: Clinical doctorate in audiology, teacher and supervisor at Marywood University and owner of Swing Kat Entertainment-Scranton studio
Title: Founder of Swingin’ in NEPA
Q: What will be on hand at the event?
A: The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. We will have a beginner swing dance lesson from 7 to 8 with dance teacher Jill Wetzel. Live music with Swing Fever Dance Band follows from 8 to 11. There will be a performance by the Sugar Snaps, a central Pennsylvanian-based swing dance performance group; decorations and vintage photo opportunities by Jeff D’Angelo Design Group; and a professional photographer, Greased Up Media, capturing our night on film. This is a BYOB event. Bring snacks and drinks for your table.
Q: Is there a theme to this year’s event?
A: Our band is Swing Fever Dance Band, which will play classic big band-era, toe-tapping music. It’s our first event of the returning Roaring ’20s, so I’ll be playing ’20s jazz music during the band breaks for us to practice our Charleston. My friend, Jeff D’Angelo of Jeff D’Angelo Design Group, will be decorating with a Roaring ’20s theme. Any vintage attire is welcomed and encouraged. Dance experience and a partner are not necessary to attend.
Q: Tell us more about Jack of Hearts — PA pediatric cardiac foundation.
A: Jack of Hearts — PA was founded by my friend Lisa and her husband, Donny Scarfo. Their son, Jack, is a twin and was born with a cardiac defect requiring life-threatening heart surgery as an infant. He is an amazing little boy, and he and his two brothers keep Lisa and Donny very busy. Lisa has dedicated her life to providing resources, support, comfort and even fun goodies to heart warriors and their families to help them navigate the scary world of having a baby or child with a scary cardiac problem.
Q: How much do you hope to raise?
A: I think a realistic goal based on the previous dances in 2018 and 2019 would be at least $500, but I always hope for more. Donations can be made that evening directly to Jack of Hearts. T-shirts and water bottles are available for purchase. Also, proceeds from the event will be donated directly to Jack of Hearts.
If you go
What: Swingin’ with Swing Fever Dance Band
When: Saturday, Feb. 1; doors open, 6:30 p.m.; lesson, 7 to 8; and live music, 8 to 11
Where: The Century Club of Scranton, 612 Jefferson Ave.
Details: Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door and $15 with military or student ID. For advance tickets, call Tara at 570-335-2445. For more information, visit the Swingin’ in NEPA Facebook and Instagram pages.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. She also writes Chef’s Table that profiles restaurants around the region. Additionally, Laura curates events online on AccessNEPA.com. Laura is involved in the special Mother’s Day edition and curates occasional features Marry Memories and Times Travelers. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. She also earned a certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228.