Friday, May 6, 2016

Love in the air at The BASH

Eric and Jessica at The BASH
Eric Farinacci and Jessica Wutz, both Western New York natives, have been regular guests at Buffalo’s annual Red Cross BASH. They both attended BASH*2011, but little did they know it was going to change their lives forever.

Believe it or not, it all started while Eric was standing in line for the bathroom. This was the first time he had spotted Jessica, and he knew right away that he had to go talk to her. She was attending the BASH with her brother, while Eric was there with his cousin, whom he used as a “wingman” to help start a conversation with Jessica. Once they got to talking, they realized that they actually worked together at Creditors Interchange, but they had never met until that night.

They began casually hanging out until officially being labeled boyfriend and girlfriend a few months later. After dating for about four years, Eric knew he wanted this relationship to last a lifetime.

He initially got in touch with Regional Communications Jay Bonafede to discuss his plans for proposing to Jessica. Eric wanted to pop the question where they first met, the BASH, but they were unable to make it last year. Once he found out that news, it was time for plan B. He asked Jay if he could use the site of the BASH—the Clement Mansion grounds—and after getting the go-ahead, Eric planned the entire thing in a week’s time.

On a beautiful Saturday last June, Eric invited 41 of their close friends and family to the Western New York Chapter. While Jessica was riding in her best friend’s car, she thought she was coming to the Red Cross to pick up a certificate for donating. Much to her surprise, the first person she ran into upon her arrival was Eric, who happened to be walking their dog.
Jessica said yes!

“I told her I was walking the dog,” said Eric. “She had absolutely no clue what was going on.”

When Jessica turned the corner, she saw all of their close friends and family waiting in a group. Everyone was bunched up under the big tree in front of the Clement Mansion, the exact spot they met four years earlier.

“I was really confused as to why everyone was there and didn’t really think anything of it,” said Jessica. “Until I saw everyone take out their phones and start taking pictures.”

Eric proposed to Jessica on June 13, 2015, and of course, she said yes. Jessica said it was fitting to have him propose at the site of the BASH because not only is it where they met, they also spent part of their first Valentine’s Day together there.

Eric and Jessica are tying the knot June 4, 2016,
one day after #RedCrossBASH and five years
after they first met at this very spot
during BASH*2011
Jessica and Eric will be tying the knot on June 4, 2016. That is the day after this year’s BASH and the five-year anniversary of the day they met at BASH*2011. They’ll be a little too busy to #PartyWithAPurpose this year, but they are both planning to attend the BASH in the future because they say it’s their favorite event.

 “It’s a fun event that always has great music and the atmosphere is amazing,” Jessica said. “The theme is always so fitting.”

Will love be in the air again this year? Find out at #RedCrossBASH June 3! Get your tickets now at And congratulations and best of luck, Eric and Jessica! We’ll see you for BASH*2017….

--Jacquelyn Fricano, WNY Chapter                     
Communications Intern