19th Annual Mayor's Charity Ball Committee Seeks Volunteers

19th Annual Mayor's Charity Ball Committee Seeks VolunteersThe West Hartford Mayor's Charity Ball Board of Directors invites members of the community to help prepare for the 19th annual Mayor's Charity Ball, to be held May 12, 2018 at West Hartford Town Hall. New supporters have joined veteran Board members in a common cause - to raise funds for West Hartford community charities, but several committees are seeking additional volunteers. The event will benefit Playhouse on Park and The Town That Cares. Some Board members represent one of the two beneficiary organizations, while others are unaffiliated community members.

The Committee's co-chairs this year are Tracy Flater, Executive Director of Playhouse on Park, and Suzanne Oslander, Community Partnerships Manager for the Town of West Hartford, which oversees The Town That Cares fund. The co-chairs both enthusiastically encourage the community to consider volunteering with the event. "It's an energetic, lively group. We have several subcommittees in need of volunteers, including the auction committee and the sponsorship committee," said Oslander.

Board member Nicole Veno remarked on how fulfilling her volunteer work for the Ball is. "It is wonderful to help an organization that contributes to two important aspects of our town - the arts and social services," she said. "Making sure our town's residents can meet their basic needs while also providing support for Broadway-caliber theater helps make West Hartford a vibrant community."

Playhouse on Park, located in the West Hartford Park Road neighborhood, offers world-class professional theater for adults and young audiences at affordable pricing. It also provides an exemplary Education Department, which distinguishes it as a resource for creative artists of all ages. In 2018, Playhouse on Park expects to serve over 6,000 students through its Literature Alive Field Trip program and through a variety theater classes and other offerings.

According to Flater, "the Playhouse's educational programming and artistic programming rely heavily on subsidies. Upwards of 50% of our annual operating budget comes through raised revenue such as fundraising events like The Mayor's Charity Ball, private donations, foundation grants and corporate sponsorship."

The Town That Cares is a special fund administered by the Town's social services department. The fund assists low income residents who may be experiencing a crisis situation that hinders their ability to pay for groceries, utilities, shelter, medical expenses and other critical needs. Programs are entirely supported by private contributions, grants and other donations. "The committee members definitely work hard, but we have a lot of fun, too," said Flater. She added, "We really enjoy collaborating with the board members, because everyone is focused on the end goal - and that's helping the community."

To volunteer, or for more information on the Mayor's Charity Ball and the organizations it supports, visit www.themayorscharityball.org.

PHOTO: a shot from the dance floor at the 2017 Mayor's Charity ball. Credit: Meredith Atkinson


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