And most who support education through acts of kindness are angels on earth — but not necessarily every day and certainly not on one particular night.
We speak of the evening of Oct. 27, a Saturday. Long after the harvest sun goes down, the blood moon comes up and the streets of downtown Cleveland have slowed to a crawl, the Museum Center at Five Points will reopen its doors. And they will squeak.
This is not a typical Saturday. This is not an average night for an average Joe. This is the Saturday night that precedes Halloween. This is the prelude to all that bristles the hair of the neck, sends chills down the spine of all caught unaware and pumps spasms through frightened hearts.
This is the Monster Ball.
It is the third annual Monster Ball, a gripping night of costumed delight when the likes of Frankenstein, a werewolf, a few vampires, the occasional ghoul, possibly a goblin and probably a parade of ghosts, as well as lions, tigers, bears ... on my ... witches, warlocks and all who are feared ... oh dear ... kings, queens and knights ... outta sight ... and pirates, lasses and gnomes ... all feeling kinda alone ... will descend upon Spook Central to celebrate — education.
Yes, the Monster Ball is not just for the ugly, the wicked and the castaways of life. It is for all who support education and for all who want to show it by partnering with Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region.
JA is long-renowned for its role in preparing young minds and impressionable students of all ages for the greatest test of life; that is, life itself. In our immediate five-county area — Bradley, McMinn, Monroe, Polk and Meigs — Junior Achievement works with school systems to help provide another aspect of education. It is not based so much on reading, writing and arithmetic, but on three key fundamentals of reality — work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
Last year alone, JA volunteers served as instructors in the classroom to reach out to more than 2,000 students. Instructors opened eyes and promoted awareness to key aspects of a well-rounded education that are not covered through the traditional textbooks.
JA brings to area schools such opportunities as “JA in a Day,” “Success Skills,” “Economics for Success” and “Reality Check.”
Its lessons are free, but not its materials. The work by volunteers is hard and it requires time away from their own full-time jobs.
But JA volunteers believe in what they’re doing ... so much so that they work just as hard helping their nonprofit of choice to organize fundraisers to support the timely classroom programming.
One of the more ... unique ... is the Monster Ball.
Although costumes are optional, the Monster Ball is an adults-only costume party that precedes Halloween. It’s a fun twist to a serious mission.
Corporate tables sell for $500, but solo spooks or those who travel in pairs or more, are seated for $45 per ghost or other life form ranging from alien to the supernatural. The latest estimate is that more than 100 terrors of the night will creep, float or crawl their way into this year’s Monster Ball.
The evening will include plenty of food, music, a costume contest, dancing, a live DJ (not a dead one) and lots more.
Questions may be directed to JA President Tracie McCartney at 423-476-6772 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may be purchased at several JA business partners and Monster Ball sponsors including the Red Ribbon, all First Tennessee Bank locations, Tennessee Valley Bone & Joint and the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, as well as through any JA board member. Other event sponsors are United Knitting, Dick’s Graphics and Bowater Employee Credit Union.
JA promises it will be a monster of a good time; and, we see it as a magnificently creepy prelude to the coming Halloween Block Party.
File your fangs. Sharpen your claws. And make sure your head’s on straight.
Then make a dash for the downtown bash called Monster Ball.