A party with impact: 48th Charity Ball offers more than fun

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The 48th Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball promises music, dancing and food, as well as good feelings.
The event is JA’s only fundraiser. Thanks to sponsorships, the money generated from ticket sales goes straight to a variety of projects that help needy young people in Tupelo and Lee County.
“It’s really a fun night for a great cause,” said Donna Clayton, ball chairwoman.
Before they set foot in the BancorpSouth Arena on Friday, ticket-holders will be supporting JA’s mission. A partial listing of the group’s projects includes:
• a clothes closet.
• CPR training for ninth-graders.
• a program that supports Cub Scouts for grades 3 to 5.
• a play that teaches about cyber-bullying.
• a program that teaches girls and their mothers about healthy lifestyles.
Pam Smith, president of JA, said the organization formed the Crown Club at Tupelo High School this year.
“It is for 10th- to 12th-grade daughters and granddaughters of JA members,” she said. “It’s like a mini-JA. They have service hours they have to fulfill.”
Work on those and other projects continues all year, thanks to people who are willing to have a good time at the Charity Ball.
This year’s Las Vegas theme was inspired by the days of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and the rest of the fabled Rat Pack.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. with the presentation of Living Ads. This year, 156 high school girls will represent Charity Ball sponsors. Music will be provided by the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra Swing Band.
“After the Living Ads, we’ll present the Outstanding Citizen of the Year,” Smith said.
After the announcement, the party band, Almost Famous, will play dance music for the rest of the night.
The Charity Ball’s menu will feature Fleur de Sel & Rosemary Rubbed Roasted Beef with Mayo Mustard and Horseradish Cream, as well as a wide range of pastas, vegetables and desserts.
It’s a formal night of fun that will expand well beyond the BancorpSouth Arena to affect the lives of people throughout Tupelo and Lee County.
“The community gets so involved in Charity Ball,” Clayton said. “That’s what makes it so special.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.