By Jimmie Ferguson

Killeen Daily Herald

The Central Texas Sickle Cell Anemia Association will present its first New Year's Eve Bash on Sunday at the Plaza Hotel in Killeen.

Doors will be open from 9 p.m. Sunday until 2 a.m Monday, New Year's Day.

A ticket packet for one person will cost $50 and includes a light dinner buffet, free party favors, a free champagne toss at midnight, a chance to win door prizes and a free breakfast.

The ticket packet for two people will cost $150, and the guests will get a free hotel room with champagne, a light dinner buffet, free party favors, a free champagne toss at midnight, a chance to win door prizes and a free breakfast.

The event will feature jazz artist Althea Ren and country and western singer Donna Nash.

"You must see (Donna Nash's) act. It is definitely the best one in the business," said Leon Beck, editor of Texas Hot Country Magazine. Nash is one of the best-known black country singers in the nation. She has performed at Fort Hood; Fort Sill, Okla.; and at many other Army bases.

Ren, who also is known worldwide, will play an assortment of urban contemporary jams with a jazzy, rhythm-and- blues twist. Ren is considered one of the nation's most exciting jazz flute players.

The Bash also will include a silent auction and many other activities.

For reservations, call the Plaza Hotel at (254) 634-1555.

Sickle cell anemia is a group of blood diseases characterized by red blood cells that change from normal, doughnut-shaped cells to ones shaped like a sickle, said Gene Carter, the founder and executive director of the Central Texas Sickle Cell Anemia Association.

The deformed cells cause the equivalent of logjams in the arteries, causing pain, strokes, infections, leg ulcers, bone damage, jaundice, gallstones, lung blockage, kidney damage and loss of body water in urine.

Other symptoms include painful erections (priapism), blood blockage in the spleen or liver, eye damage, low red blood cell counts (anemia) and delayed growth.

Funds raised at the Bash will be used to purchase medicine, medical treatments, medical equipment, utility bills, housing, medical transportation to clinics and hospitals, supplemental food for chronic illnesses and administrative costs, Carter said.

Contact Jimmie Ferguson at

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