Prolific pianists to perform production for PAWS

By James Grob,

As if a prime rib dinner and cupcakes made from scratch wouldn’t be enough.

There’s also going to be some brilliant piano entertainment.

And the proceeds all go to help homeless cats and dogs.

The Charles City PAWS Humane Society will be hosting Midwest Dueling Pianos at a fundraising event Friday night. The night will include prime rib with “a bunch of sides,” cupcakes for dessert, adult beverages, social interaction, a silent auction and live music at the Floyd County Enrichment Center at the fairgrounds.

“All the money goes toward general maintenance for the shelter, as well as care for the animals,” said Jacie Garden, assistant manager at PAWS, which is a nonprofit organization that acts as a safe place for the needs of animals and the community at large. “We do flea, tick, rabies, distemper. Also, each animal gets spayed or neutered before they’re adopted.”

PAWS is dedicated to preventing neglect, abuse and cruelty towards unwanted or abandoned animals. The social hour for the PAWS fundraiser starts at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. The pianos are scheduled to start playing at 7 p.m.

Midwest Dueling Pianos describes itself as a “wildly entertaining music and comedy dueling piano show that the audience will love and beg for more.” The group says it provides “an all request-driven show that spans generations and keeps everyone — from a 90-year-old great-grandmother to a hyper 4-year-old — entertained and focused on the show.”

The group, based in Michigan, has teams of players all over the country, and says it has recruited and trained some of the finest talent around, all veterans of the dueling piano industry.

Garden said she believes the piano show would receive a PG or PG-13 rating.

“They do a wide variety of songs, and they take requests,” she said. “We’re kind of gearing it more toward adults, business people and our volunteers.”

She said PAWS chose Midwest Dueling Pianos because it wasn’t the usual entertainment people in Charles City get to see.

“We wanted to choose somebody a little different,” Garden said. She added that some other community events in Charles City have a lot of the same entertainers. “This is a really reputable company, and a little different from what we usually get here.”

The 12-ounce prime rib dinner will be served by Fredericka Locker. There will also be specialty themed drinks available along with a regular cash bar and a silent auction with items from local businesses. Garden said there would be a few bigger-value silent auctions items to bid on through the night.

PAWS set a goal of selling 200 tickets to the event, and as of Tuesday afternoon, there were 175 sold. Garden said it’s best to get tickets in advance, because there is no guarantee there will be space available at the door the night of the event. Tickets can still be purchased from a PAWS Board Member, at L&J Industries Inc., at First Security Bank & Trust, or send a message or contact PAWS via Facebook.