An evening full of masks, dresses and Frank Sinatra was how some students chose to spend their evening on Saturday night. On Feb. 16, the Circle K International at VCU held a charity Masquerade Ball at the Commons.
Circle K International is the largest collegiate community service and leadership development organization in the world. This service club, sponsored by the Richmond Kiwanis, is responsible for hosting events for several different charities throughout the year.
The Masquerade Ball was to benefit the March of Dimes, a national foundation dedicated to preventing birth defects and infant mortality.
Freshman Ellen Korcovelas can attest to tremendous amount of assistance organizations like March of Dimes provides.
“My sister was born three months premature,” Korcovelas said. “March of Dimes really helped us out. So that’s why I’m here.”
VCU student Kelsey McIntyre was a primary organizer of the event and thought that the masquerade theme was appropriate and entertaining for the occasion. This event is just one of several that Circle K puts on to fundraise for different charities.
“Each semester we have a brainstorm meeting to come up with ideas for events for our service partners to benefit their initiatives,” McIntyre said. “We thought it would be relevant to our club and what we were trying to do, so that’s how the idea came to life.”
The organization raised money by selling tickets for $5 and also holding a silent auction while the masquerade ball took place.
“It’s the only big event that we do for March of Dimes,” McIntyre said. “Everything that we make tonight goes directly to into March of Dimes, including the proceeds from our silent auction.”
Some of the proceeds will also go to the formation of a team for the March for Babies Walk in May.
Although the March of Dimes Masquerade Ball was mainly for philanthropic reasons, McIntyre saw it as an alternative way for college students to spend their Saturday night.
“We have events throughout the year with guest speakers, and of course we want people to gain awareness to the issues that March of Dimes fundraises for, but people love getting dressed up in a classy way too,” McIntyre said.
In addition to March of Dimes, Circle K fundraises for the Eliminate Project, which works to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, more commonly known as lockjaw.
Math major Jasmine Luckey said the night was a great way to benefit a good cause and have fun.
“This is a completely different from your usual fundraiser. It’s creative,” Luckey said. “You don’t normally see people dressed up for a masquerade ball in the commons.”