Charity Ball hopes for successful year

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Each year, Charity Ball throws an event that is different from anything else offered for students, but for the first time it was on campus. The semi-formal event, held this year on March 9 in the Turret, hosted “A Candy Coated Extravaganza”— a themed night of dinner and dancing for students while raising awareness and money for a local charity in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region.

Funds raised this year are being donated to the Grand River Hospital Children’s Ward, to finance a new machine that will improve the quality of treatment for patients.

Beyond their main semi-formal, Charity Ball holds between five and seven events throughout the academic year to raise money for their designated charity, including Hair for Hope, which is happening this Monday in the Concourse. As well, they will also host a Dirty Bingo and a ball hockey tournament in conjunction with AccessU.

The semi-formal dinner, with a silent auction and DJs’ Dijon and System 21 spinning for the dance afterwards, made this year’s A Candy Coated Extravaganza a success. With 247 attendees, the total revenue for the event, according to Amy Hollinsworth, the president of the project, is estimated at $6,819, with $2,819 being raised from the silent auction alone that accompanied the ball.

Mostly positive feedback has been received, noted Hollinsworth.

“One girl came up to me and said she had been to Charity Ball for the past three years,” she explained. “And this was the most fun one ….I’m really happy.”
Holding the event at the Turret created some pre-emptive skepticism with students about the quality of the event, since it has been typically held at Bingemans.

“I’ve honestly been getting a lot of good feedback,” Hollinsworth said. “I’m hoping that next year they do the event at the Turret, it’s easier… people can just walk down the street and go to the event.”

Campus clubs from the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union allocated $450 to Charity Ball for their events this year, whereas historically their starting budget has been zero. Staying within budget this year, and allocating most of this money to cover the cost of decorations, has allowed for more of the ticket cost to be donated to the charity.

Tangible donations from local companies also helped to lower the costs of running the event. “The managers of the Turret and Wilf’s were just so helpful,” she added.

“We’re doing a lot better than I expected,” stated Hollinsworth, adding that the final amount will be determined in April. “I said that we would raise about $4,000 for the whole year … I’m excited to find out the final number at the end of the year.”

Four years ago, Charity Ball raised only $159 while on a $30,000 budget. According to Hollinsworth, prior to the main event, this year they have managed to raise approximately $4,500.

To Hollinsworth, she believes it’s a step in the right direction. Charity Ball, currently a campus club, has undergone many changes this past year, including their status as a campus club rather than a part of WLUSU.

“[That] has been a risk, but I’m glad I took it,” said Hollinsworth.

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