The adult party — which features a costume contest, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages — promises a lively time, even for the deadest of personalities, but it’s all for the best of causes. In this case, it’s Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region, a respected five-county nonprofit whose field of unpaid volunteers supplements the efforts of area school systems by taking “real world” instruction into the classroom.
Like most nonprofit organizations, JA is working to meet increased demand with fewer resources. Subsequently, the organization hosts a handful of community fundraisers throughout the year. They range from the longtime bowl-a-thons to the Christmastime “Breakfast with Santa” to an occasional concert, as well as the annual communitywide campaign that solicits individual and corporate supporters of JA, education and kids.
Monster Ball, always held in conjunction with Halloween, has become one of the most anticipated events because of its unique fan base. For example, Monster Ball does not discriminate in its invitation list. All are welcome — vampires, witches, warlocks, ghosts, ghouls, an occasional goblin, Frankensteins and all Mary Shelley monstrous wannabes, zombies, werewolves ... even politicians.
“The buzz is out about Monster Ball,” shrieked Pam Nelson, JA Monster Ball event chair. “We expect a large, fun group again this year. We (Ocoee Insurance Services) sponsor Monster Ball each year and welcome all business owners to join in on the costume fun!“
Costumes are optional, but they are recommended. Besides, the right attire can really make the monster; at least, that’s the opinion of bloodsucking organizers who say Monster Ball always has, and always will, serve a dual purpose. One, it helps promote community awareness and funds an invaluable civic cause; and two, it offers a little fun in the doing.
Monster Ball is for the lighthearted and maybe even the faint of heart. It is believed as many as 150 of the community’s creepiest will show up for this light night of unchained delight.
Scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25, the fiendish good times kick off at 7 p.m. at the Museum Center at Five Points — a fitting location where monsters are known to like hanging out, whether wax, real or otherwise.
Joining Nelson in a call for the wild is Tracie McCartney, JA of the Ocoee Region president, who offered this public cry, “Calling all goblins, ghosts and freaks of the night! Creep, float or crawl over to Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region’s Monster Ball!”
Less energetic monsters are invited to drive, be taxied or dropped off. The physically fit may even walk depending upon the level of comfort and gruesomeness of their costume.
To attend Monster Ball, area creatures are reminded they may come as individuals, in pairs, threesomes or groups. Cost for full tables is $500 and for individuals it is $45 per person. Sorry, no discount for ugly.
“Costumes are optional, but they are very, very welcome because this is a blast,” McCartney said. “It’s a great adult Halloween party and what a fitting prelude it is for MainStreet Cleveland’s family-friendly Downtown Block Party! Monster Ball always gets a lot of support from the community and from everyone who believes in Junior Achievement and what we do.”
Tickets are already on sale. They can be acquired by calling the JA office at 423-476-6772. To accommodate certain monsters — like say, vampires — who don’t do well in daylight, special arrangements can probably be made for ticket pickup.
Junior Achievement’s hands-on, experiential programs teach students the key concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. The local five-county operation reaches out to more than 4,000 school-aged students each year.
The local JA office serves five counties: Bradley, McMinn, Polk, Meigs and Monroe. JA of the Ocoee Region has been serving the Southeast Tennessee area since 1965.
One of the organization’s mottos is, “We empower young people to own their economic success.”