Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, Robin Williams and "A Chorus Line" Kick It Up For Billionaire
84 Lumber Founder Joe Hardy celebrates his 84th
Farmington, PA (January 8, 2007) — Billionaire lumber magnate Joe Hardy celebrated his 84th birthday on Saturday (January 6) with a star-studded bash featuring performances by singers Bette Midler and Christina Aguilera, comedian Robin Williams, and the touring company of Broadway’s “A Chorus Line.”
Hardy founded nationwide building materials supplier 84 Lumber Company 51 years ago, and his 84th birthday is a milestone he’s been eagerly awaiting. The gregarious Hardy has been telling friends and family he hoped “the party they throw me is big, big, BIG; bigger than Mardi Gras!”
Held at the luxurious Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, founded by Hardy 20 years ago in Western Pennsylvania, more than 500 guests joined Hardy’s family for the all-day affair that started at 2:00 p.m. and ran until 2:00 a.m. Nemacolin sits on nearly 3,000 acres with Western Pennsylvania’s first AAA Five-Diamond hotel, Falling Rock, two golf courses, two AAA Four-Diamond restaurants, an Off-Road Driving Academy, Shooting Academy, Equestrian Center, Mystic Mountain snow sports facility, and much more.
“The Divine Miss M” Bette Midler performed at lunch in a multi-level tent on the resort’s private airstrip, where she quipped with Hardy about his age and his fathering children that range in age from 60 to nine. Midler also entertained the crowd by reading the “story of Joe Hardy” and performing songs that were big during milestones in his life, including “Yes, Sir That’s My Baby” from the year he was born and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” from his service in World War II. Midler closed her show by dedicating “Wind Beneath My Wings” to Hardy on behalf of his family and guests.
Next up, party goers moved inside to the resort’s Marquis Ballroom-turned uber chic Cigar Lounge where they enjoyed a reception and a surprise performance by pop diva Christina Aguilera, who sang a special “Happy Birthday” to Hardy. At 6:00 p.m., Hardy and his hundreds moved back outside to the tent for a gourmet seated dinner and entertainment by Broadway’s “Chorus Line.” Robin Williams rounded out the star-studded entertainment with a comedy show. Williams has performed at Nemacolin Woodlands two times before, as part of the resort’s ultra swank Royal Reception.
Special guests at the gala included “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” star Robin Leach (who wished Hardy congratulations on achieving all his champagne wishes and caviar dreams), former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Pittsburgh Steeler’s standout Troy Polamalu, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and British Lord Peter Palumbo.
The gala was planned in-house by Nemacolin’s Special Events Department, with Dennis Nothaft & Associates of Atlantic City, New Jersey serving as the event designer.