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Annual Shakers' celebration benefits kid causes

Members of the West Fargo Shakers promoting their fourth annual New Year's Eve Party to benefit a local nonprofit cause are: from left to right, top row: Brian Quam, Jake Lauritsen, Paul Finn, and Mitch Finn; bottom row: Jake Reese, Mike Migler, Joel Finn, and Dewey Vinesett.

What started out four years ago as a goodwill gesture to help out Crohns and Colitis Research has turned into an all-out fundraiser held annually for a designated worthy community cause.

This year's West Fargo Shakers' sponsored New Year's Eve Party set for Friday, Dec. 31, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Legend's Event Center (formerly Speedway Event Center) at 680 W. Main Ave., West Fargo, will see its proceeds going to PATH North Dakota, Inc., a not-for-profit agency that has provided personalized treatment, foster care and family-based services for children and families throughout the state of North Dakota since 1994. With a mission of "Families Making the Difference," PATH has pioneered the treatment foster care concept and has built a reputation for quality and leadership in the foster care field. There are presently nine PATH locations within the state, including one in Fargo.

The Shakers consist of eight longtime friends from West Fargo, who have formed a nonprofit organization for the express purpose of promoting this annual New Year's event to help create awareness about excellent causes, in turn raising money to make the community a better place in which to live. Making up the group are: Joel Finn, Paul Finn, Jake Lauritsen, Brian Quam, Dewey Vinesett, Mike Migler, Jake Reese and Mitch Finn.

Group member Mitch Finn said the Shakers selected PATH as the charity of choice this year because they always enjoy assisting organizations "that help local children out."

As in the past, all the Shakers are looking forward to the 2010 party with optimism and enthusiasm, coordinating most of the legwork themselves. "We do have a few close friends that help us sell tickets and that helps us out a ton," Finn said. "The friendly and courteous staff at the Legends Event Center is very good at accommodating our needs, allowing us to advertise in the Legends bar and working with us on drink specials because we are a non-profit."

Sponsorship is also very important to the evening's successful outcome, with Finn expressing gratitude to major participants Shaker's Vodka, Sign Pro of Fargo and State Bank & Trust, along with this year's new sponsors Lempe Creative Assistance, the HoDo downtown, and Planet Fitness.

The doors will open at 7 p.m., with complimentary appetizers served until 9 p.m., at which time "Tripwire" will take the stage, continuing until 2 a.m. Tripwire first played two years ago, and Finn said the Shakers are "very pleased to have them back."

Drink specials will be offered all night long, and there will be drawings for a variety of new and exciting door prizes, starting at about 10 p.m., all donated by local businesses. Tickets will be available for purchase on an ongoing basis as the individual items are raffled off.

A special 'balloon drop' will be featured at the stroke of midnight and everyone will receive a free glass of champagne courtesy of Legends, along with complimentary gifts while supplies last.

Finn is excited about the balloon drop, held for the first time last year. "It was a big hit, something different than the other venues in town.  We have State Bank & Trust donating all of the balloons. This year they were kind enough to donate 1,400 balloons.  It is quite a spectacle."

Among the raffle prizes are: reserved tickets to the FM RedHawks and Fargo Force, an autographed photo from Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings and Greg Zanon of the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Timberwolves tickets, several food gift certificates to Panchero's, year memberships at Planet Fitness, a Riccar vacuum cleaner, oil changes and several Shaker's vodka items.

Since 2007, the Shakers' New Year's Eve party has helped raise thousands of dollars for various causers. Last year Hope, Inc. received a $2,000 donation and the 231st Charley Company Family Readiness Group $500.

This year's goals are even more ambitious, with organizers setting their sites on the $5,000 mark. On that note, they are encouraging everyone looking for an evening of excitement and fun to join the party.

Since the event is limited to 500 tickets, those planning on attending should consider purchasing their tickets ahead of time. Ticket price is $15, whether bought in advance or at the door. The ticket price will include the band, appetizers, and a free glass of champagne at midnight.

Tickets are available by emailing and they can also be purchased at Legend's Bar & Grill. For entire event details, visit their website at