Newlywed Game Promises Laughs and Surprises – and a Chance to Fill Food Shelves
With an eye toward significantly increasing its impact on donations and public awareness of hunger issues, organizers of one of Rutland County’s largest annual food drives are completely revamping the signature event. ‘Pack The Paramount,’ which has annually collected tons of food to fill seats at The Paramount Theatre – and ultimately the Rutland Community Cupboard, BROC Community Food Shelf and Salvation Army – is changing it name and focus: It will now be known as Pack The Paramount: The Newlywed Game Rutland.
“Instead of bags of food, we will aim to fill The Paramount with people for a fun, entertaining evening of laughs,” said Green Mountain Power (GMP) vice president Steve Costello, one of the organizers. “With the Vermont Food Bank now in Rutland, we’re turning our attention to raising funds so the food shelves can buy exactly what they want at prices well below retail.”
The annual event, which will be held on the Saturday closest to Valentine’s Day, February 11, at 7:30 p.m., will feature eight couples from all walks of life competing on stage in a local version of the popular television game show. They range from true newlyweds to one couple celebrating more than 55 years of marriage. Comedian and magician Tom Joyce will host. The couples include Gwen and Joel Flewelling, Tom and Tricia Huebner, Ed and Fran Kelly, Peg and Joe Kraus, Brent and Amanda Godnick, Ryan and Rebecca Buonadonna, Rich and Jess Cowden, and Angelo and Bessie Centini. Four couples each will square off in two rounds, with the top two couples from each group competing in the finals. Attendees can renew their vows at the event, and have a chance to win prizes, including a pair of diamond earrings. Children may attend, but parents are reminded that the night’s content may not be suitable for all ages.
“This is going to be an incredibly fun event, with a lot of laughs, tenderness and surprises,” said Eric Mallette, Paramount’s programming director. “Like the original TV show, the only thing that will be predictable will be that it is unpredictable – and that people will be talking about it for weeks afterward.”
Tickets are available now at The Paramount Theatre Box Office, by calling 802-775-0903, or at paramountvt.org. All proceeds will be divided between the three food shelves to help local residents in times of need.