A romantic evening with music, hors d’oeuvres and formal dress is planned for Saturday, with proceeds going to two non-profit groups.
The first Masquerade 2018 will be 8-11 p.m. Saturday at Rabbittown Trade Center, 36 College St. The event is a fundraiser for both Reagan’s Rescue Fund and First Gig Rock N’ Roll Camp for Kids.
People are required to dress up in formal or semi-formal clothing, and to wear masks.
“This is a good time for people to get together for Valentine’s Day and to get dressed up,” said Derek Sanders, an organizer along with his brother, Neil Culpepper.
Only 200 tickets will be available, Sanders said, and they’re selling quickly. He expects the event to sell out.
Musical performances will be by Dustin Danger, Andy Moreillon, Love Sign and the Brass Junkies. There will be a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres available, and after-hours will be held at the nearby Shovelhead Saloon.
Sanders stressed this is not a costume party, but masks are suggested and will be available for purchase.
“It will be very beautiful and very elegant,” Greg Williams said. He and his wife, Marsha, are helping with the decorations.
Rabbittown is the perfect venue with its lights, exposed brick, and varnished hardwood floors, he said. Although the dress is formal, Williams said a nice suit, instead of a tuxedo, is OK for the men; his wife plans to wear a long gown.
Referring to the brothers, he said, “They wanted to do something for the organizations in town. In their differing ways, they cater to young people and they felt it was a good fit.”
At the event, information about Reagan’s Rescue and First Gig will be available.
Williams is the grandfather of Reagan Emery Williams, who died July 2, 2006, at age 1 ½ years, the victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
“This gives us an opportunity to share information about Reagan’s Rescue. We’re excited about this possibility,” he said. The fund’s goal is to educate people about the syndrome.
The group’s latest project is to distribute posters around town warning: Never shake a baby.
After 11 years, the project sometimes stalls, but then something like the Masquerade comes along, and revitalizes it, he said.
Also at the event, Peter Blackmon, general manager of the David S. Palmer Arena, will have information about First Gig, which is sponsored by the arena and Danville Area Community College.
The young people work with professional musicians, learn about instruments and being in a band, how to put on a rock show and learn about the record industry.
Sanders, a salesman at Carmack Car Capitol, said his brother came up with the idea for “Masquerade.” Culpepper is a hair stylist in Champaign, and has lived in St. Louis and Chicago. The brothers are from Oakwood.
When Culpepper went to Danville’s Festival of Trees, Sanders said, “He was amazed at how well Danville did this. He wanted to do something formal, too.”
When it came time to choose the charities, Sanders said he’s passionate about First Gig. “It’s amazing to watch the kids come together and do something positive,” he said, adding, it keeps them out of trouble.
As for Reagan’s Rescue, Sanders said, “Greg’s passion for the cause 12 years later is what impresses me.” Sometimes, people beat the drum, but then drop the cause after a while — but not Williams.
Sanders said they plan on doing the event again next year, and plan on keeping it intimate at just 200 people. Next year, Reagan’s Rescue and First Gig will be the beneficiaries again.
“Masquerade” tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple. Tickets may be purchased at the David S. Palmer Arena box office or from Derek Sanders at Carmack Car Capitol. They also may be ordered online at www.palmerarena.com.
If available, tickets will be sold at the door, but organizers expect the event to sell out in advance.
Learn more about Reagan’s Rescue Fund at www.reagansrescuefund.com
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Scott Juceam is one of the leading advocates against Shaken Baby Syndrome. Scott’s life changed when his daughter Hannah was shaken to death by her nanny in 2006. Since then, Scott has dedicated his life to preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse.