20th annual Brainerd Family YMCA Charity Ball is here
This Friday--for the 20th year in a row--Brainerd lakes area residents will put on their dancing shoes and best or casual dress to support the Brainerd Family YMCA.
This Friday-for the 20th year in a row-Brainerd lakes area residents will put on their dancing shoes and best or casual dress to support the Brainerd Family YMCA.
The YMCA's annual Charity Ball is here and will begin with a social hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m. and entertainment at 8 p.m. at the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. The Charity Ball is one of the YMCA's largest fundraising event with all proceeds supporting youth programs.
Jason DeRusha, WCCO news anchor, will emcee the event and for the 11th year in a row, the Johnny Holm Band will take the stage.
The Johnny Holm Band is widely known in the Midwest and plays a variety of music, all while interacting with the audience. Johnny Holm, who grew up in a small house on the north side of Brainerd, started solo and then built up his band. Band members include his daughter Jordan Holm, Scott Pearson, Jeff Downs, Jeremiah Witucki and Jake Jackson.
Randy Klinger, Brainerd Family YMCA CEO, said 20 years-ago the then 15-year-old Kid Johnny Lang performed for the first ever Charity Ball held at the Brainerd Armory and now for about the past 10 years the Johnny Holm Band has graced the stage.
Klinger said over the years, the YMCA has held the Charity Ball at various locations in the lakes area, but has held the event at the Grand View Lodge for the past few years. Klinger said YMCA staff is excited to present the ball for the 20th year in a row, but nothing will be new at this year's event.
"We have had a continuation of success in previous years with the Charity Ball," Klinger said. "Each year we survey people and we hear back that they like the format, the entertainment, the emcee and the venue so we are not going to do anything different."
Klinger said tickets may be available today, April 7, and Friday by calling the YMCA at 218-829-4767 or by stopping in person. Cost is $75 per person or tables of 10 can be reserved for $750. Klinger said people also may purchase an entertainment ticket only for $25.
Typically around 200 people attend the Charity Ball and the YMCA has seen as many as 250 people.
Klinger said a portion of the proceeds this year will again go to purchasing outdoor play yard equipment and enhancements inside the fenced in area at the YMCA, along with other youth program needs.
Klinger said since 1996, the YMCA has raised $270,000 that has gone directly to after school care, day camps and youth programs. Money also has gone to equipment and additional staffing. Klinger said the YMCA also provides day camp opportunities to youth who can't afford it.
Klinger said each year the YMCA presents an individual or business with the Louis Hostager Award at the Charity Ball for their contribution of giving back to the community. Klinger said he cannot disclose this year's recipient of the award as it is a surprise.
Klinger said Louis Hostager died in 1952, leaving the Brainerd YMCA with $270,000 that helped build the Brainerd YMCA. Hostager ran a small sporting store in downtown Brainerd and was an active volunteer at the YMCA. His selfless, frugal nature produced a generosity to children and the YMCA that serves as an inspiration and reminder of the YMCA's vital role in our community, the YMCa stated. This award is in recognition of an individual that follows in his footsteps to improve the community.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.