Black and Blue Ball Draws Crowd in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- There were blue jeans, black ties, gems and gowns. But the focus at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton Friday night was not the clothing, but the cause.

"I have a form of muscular dystrophy. I think it's great that they're here to help me and other kids and I think it's such a great cause," said MDA Ambassador Dante Passeri of Hazle Township.

The 19th annual Black and Blue Ball drew hundreds for live and silent auctions.

Items included signed jerseys, concert tickets trips and fine jewelry.

The ball is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the MDA, raising thousands for medical supplies, summer camp, and research for people with neuromuscular diseases.

"In the past 4 years we've had six new drugs developed and there's now treatments available where before people were getting news that 'Hey you have this disease, there's nothing you can do about it' now we can fight a little. we've actually been able to see children that started the drugs when they are babies and they're actually walking," said MDA executive director Katrina Schreefer.

The MDA of NEPA serves about 800 people.

Many of those at the ball come every year to help the cause.

"I have what's called limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2, so it affects my shoulders, arms, hips and legs. The MDA is a place where I can go for help, it's like a second family I guess in a way," said Julianna Rodrigues of Allentown.

WNEP is a proud sponsor of the Black and Blue Ball.

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