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The Fabulous Armadillos to rock YMCA's Charity Ball

It’s bound to be a fabulous event as one of the most popular acts in central Minnesota will be hitting the stage for the 17th annual Brainerd Family YMCA Charity Ball scheduled May 19 at the Gull Lake Center at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.

On the docket for live entertainment for this year’s Charity Ball is the Fabulous Armadillos. The Fabulous Armadillos — a group of five seasoned musicians from St. Cloud and the Twin Cities metro area who bring a themed show to stage — have played for sold-out audiences and have left their mark in the Brainerd lakes area, playing their Eagles tribute show in the 2011-12 Central Lakes College Cultural Series.

Randy Klinger, YMCA chief executive officer, said the Fabulous Armadillos will not have a themed show for the charity ball, but will perform popular songs rangingf rom the 60s to today’s hits.

“We try to mix up the entertainment each year,” said Klinger. “Mark Dockendorf has told me for five years to book these guys. I finally went online and I heard them and I was amazed and impressed by them. They’ve had great reviews. We’re excited that they’ll be performing at the Charity Ball.”

The Charity Ball is a fundraiser for the YMCA to help with youth leagues and programs, and has helped in building projects. Klinger said 17 years ago, YMCA board member, Joan Askegaard, came up with the Charity Ball idea as she attended a similar event.

“This event has evolved from there,” said Klinger. “It’s an incredible event for the Y and it also provides the community with a fun social event.”

The Charity Ball began as a formal event where people dressed up in tuxedos and gowns, but it has downsized its attire in the past few years.

“It’s been transformed into more of a dressy casual event,” said Klinger. “Not everyone wanted to get dressed up and with a more challenging economy, people didn’t want to get their hair done or buy a new suit or dress, so we elected to downscale the attire. People still come dressed up if they want too, and some people don’t. It’s up to them. Everyone has a good time regardless.”

The charity event — sponsored by Mills Motor, Mills Fleet Farm and Arne and Jo Ann Johnson — begins at 5:30 p.m. with social hour and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. and entertainment starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person, or people may reserve a table of 10 for $750. Tickets are available at the YMCA. Ticket deadline is Wednesday. Klinger said after the deadline, people can call to see if there are still tickets available, but it will not be guaranteed. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Dinner will be strawberry spinach salad, Lemon Rosemary Chicken Herbed Crust, sun dried tomato pesto, fingerling potatoes, roasted garlic cream and chocolate cake.

Silent auction items will include two diamond pendant necklaces, a Joe Mauer framed print, four 18-hole rounds of golf at the Eagles Landing, four Minnesota Twins tickets and various gift certificates from various restaurants and businesses.

Klinger said over the past 16 years, the charity event has brought in an average of $16,000 a year and 280 people. Klinger said they are hoping for more than 200 people this year.

Klinger said new this year at the Charity Ball, is the YMCA will be announcing the winner of the Louis Hostager Award. The award will go to a recipient who has generously donated their time and talent to youth.

Klinger said in 1952, Louis Hostager left the YMCA with $217,000 to build a new YMCA. Klinger said Hostager was well known for his generosity in fixing bicycles for children who couldn’t afford it.

Klinger said since the YMCA began the charity ball, other YMCAs across the state have also started the same type of event.

“We started a trend of the Charity Ball with a dinner dance theme,” said Klinger. “We’ve been to six different venues in the Brainerd lakes area and have been extraordinary pleased with all of them.

“We encourage everyone to come out to the charity ball because it will be a good time.”

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851.