It’s hard to imagine that this is going to be the last year for The BASH (originally M*A*S*H Bash). Thinking back to all of the fond memories, I’m having trouble comprehending that the good times will soon be over. Yes, 2018 will be the last year that the American Red Cross, Western New York Chapter, will be hosting this dynamite party.
The decision to pull the plug on The BASH apparently has nothing to do with the sale of the Clement Mansion to developer John Yurtchuk (Matrix Development Corp., and former chairman of the regional Red Cross chapter). Yurtchuk bought the property from the Red Cross with the intention of splitting it up between two non-profits – the Red Cross and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), of which he is also a board member. The developer donated the building and its front lawn to the BPO. The BPO will reside on one floor of the building (rent free), while the American Red Cross will occupy another floor as part of a lease deal.
According to a Buffalo News article in September, 2017, the rest of the property, including the main parking lot and three larger buildings, will be retained by Yurtchuk for future development. Yurtchuk might be looking at a nonprofit campus or incubator scenario with the Oishei Foundation, which would be pretty amazing.
As part of the transaction, the Red Cross was allowed to host their events on the site, including The BASH. Unfortunately, the decision was made to host one last epic event, before ending the 20 year run.
This year’s The BASH (Friday, June 1) welcomes Loretta Swit, star of the television series M*A*S*H, as well as Nerds Gone Wild, the same band that whipped the crowd into a frenzy last year. DJ Dovey will also be on the scene.
Last year, BASH*2017 raised nearly $100,000 to help Red Cross volunteers provide shelter, food and clothing, comfort and support to 587 WNY families after fires and other disasters.
“We’re excited about the future, honoring everyday Western New Yorkers who have exemplified the Red Cross mission by doing something extraordinary to help their neighbors in need during a Real Heroes Breakfast,” said Alexandra Murello, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Western New York Chapter. “But first, we’re looking forward to making the 20th Anniversary BASH the best one yet. We’re proud to have hosted an event that has meant so much to the Western New York community, and we want to make sure the last BASH is an event our guests will never forget.”
Tickets are still available at www.redcross.org/buffalobash, and at official BASH outfitters, Paratrooper Army Navy, 4239 Transit Road in Williamsville. General Admission tickets are $75 each or two for $125, and include two free drinks, all the food you can eat from some of the area’s best restaurants. #RedCrossBASH guests will also have the opportunity to bid on dozens of unique auction items donated by members of the WNY community, including vacation packages, original works of art, jewelry and more. A commemorative “BASH20” t-shirts are coming soon, which will be a must-have keepsake from the Last BASH.