Editorial: JA’s Monster Ball scaring up support
Oct 17, 2013 | 777 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sometimes there’s a little monster in us all, especially the closer we get to Halloween.

But it might be asked, “Even one of the Cleveland and Bradley County community’s most respected nonprofit organizations whose tenure is fast approaching 50 years?”

Especially that one.

We refer to Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region, a five-county partner of public education whose legion of unpaid volunteers supplements the good work of area school systems in the fields of work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.

In an annual fundraiser whose proceeds help to buy instructional materials used by classroom volunteers, Junior Achievement is nearing another Monster Ball.

This adult Halloween costume party is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 25, at the Museum Center at Five Points in downtown Cleveland. Early birds of the macabre will be arriving by 7 p.m., but the festivities like a costume contest, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment could carry on as late as midnight — which, by no coincidence, is known to many as the witching hour.

The door is open to all creepies — this includes standard spooks like ghosts, ghouls and goblins — as well as the most beastly like werewolves, vampires, Frankensteins, a couple of mummies and most anything else of Boris Karloff origin.

Uglies who have never attended the Monster Ball are encouraged to give it a taste. Frequent flyers are urged to buy your tickets now. They can be acquired by calling the JA office at 423-476-6772.

As many as 150 beasts of the night — perhaps even more — are expected to float, crawl or creep over to the museum for the evening. Individual ticket price is $45 per creature. Cost for full tables is $500. Call it a roundtable of roars, if you will.

“Costumes are optional, but they are very, very welcome because this is a blast,” reports Tracie McCartney, JA president. “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.”

This is an adult Halloween party because adult beverages will be available. But all monsters — from witches to warlocks to those of lycanthropic persuasion to bloodsucking vampires and even pirates — are expected to handle themselves responsibly.

The whole idea is to have some fun and to enjoy the innocent merriment — that is, the good side — of Halloween, and all the while doing it for a respected civic cause.

Pam Nelson, who chairs this year’s Monster Ball, reports her company — Ocoee Insurance Services — is again sponsoring the night of hilarity because it allows even the most ... unique ... of citizens to come out of hiding. Let it be said, Monster Ball discriminates against no beast.

“The buzz is out about Monster Ball,” the queen of shriek ... er, shrieked. “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!”

Granted, inviting so many uglies of the night under the same roof at the same time is cutting edge, especially if a wolfman with an attitude tasks Little Bo Beep for forgetting to bring her sheep. But with Frankenstein and Hulk as bouncers, peace should be restored faster than Dracula can cry, “It’s the gift of life!”

Certainly, Monster Ball is a lighthearted approach to the most serious of causes; that being, teaching our children about life in the real world and showing them how to enter adulthood prepared for its many challenges in financial literacy, business and workforce readiness.

Each year, JA of the Ocoee Region reaches out to some 4,000 school-aged students in Bradley, McMinn, Polk, Meigs and Monroe counties.

That’s a lot of work and it’s all done by unpaid volunteers, some of whom give their personal time and their employer’s support as dedicated members of the nonprofit’s board of directors.

Kudos to Junior Achievement for a job well done!

As for Monster Ball, creep on over to the museum for an evening of fun and good time.

But be safe, be responsible and make good decisions.