Dance Dance

A year ago, the end was in sight for the County Assembly and Red & White balls.

After 75 years of operation, organizers of the girl-asks-guy January formal dances could not find enough volunteers to produce the 2014 event.

An APB — including a plea on “06880” — worked. Mothers stepped up, dresses and tuxes were rented, and even big snow could not stop the dances.

That’s the good news. The better news is that over $35,000 was raised and distributed to 23 local organizations supporting youth.

Posing before the Red & White Ball.

Posing before the Red & White Ball.

The Courage to Speak Foundation and Janus Center for Youth in Crisis got $2,500 each.

Checks for $2,000 went to Family and Children’s Agency, Norwalk Youth Symphony, Aunt Terry, Circle of Care, Project Return, A Better Chance of Westport, A Better Chance of Wilton, The Center for Family Justice and Mercy Learning Center.

Other recipients include Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County, Operation Hope, Homes With Hope, The Kennedy Center, Trackside Teen Center, The Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Wilton Social Services for Domestic Violence, SafeRides, Weston Food Pantry, Al’s Angels, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club and RAAFT Ludlowe.

If only organizers could charge for the after-parties, there’s no telling how much money they’d raise.

9 responses to “Dance Dance

  1. Mary Ellen Rose

    Dan, Thank YOU! Your support over the years has helped to keep this dance alive! While some may argue over whether it is “old fashioned” vs. “traditional,” the bottom-line speaks for itself; This year we had to add to the number of tickets that we sold because the waiting list was really long & we didn’t want anyone to miss out. It is growing. Kids still love it and want to go. Parents love watching their kids have fun. And MOST importantly, organizations that support children in need are getting a lot of extra money that they wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the dance. Thanks for being a part of making that happen.

  2. Holly Wheeler

    Nice going to all those who kept this event alive !!! And thanks, Dan, for posting the charities who reaped the benefits.

    n.b. These were always fun dances for me and my pals, but in the olden days, “Red and White Ball” meant women were supposed to wear red or white. Maybe it should be renamed Black Ball ???

  3. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    The Holly Ball (I do remember sewing my own dress), The Red and White Ball (music by Denny Doherty’s Band), The County Assembly (which I almost missed for being grounded for the first time in my life!). All very swish, and, looking at my old invitations (beautifully printed, of course) I count over 25 Executive Board members and double the number of “Patronesses”.
    I hope donations were also made.

  4. Mary Ellen Rose

    Nancy- We solicit donations from sponsors and gladly accept any other donations offered! But, not sure that we received any, outside of the Sponsors. Sounds like you both have great memories. I’d love to see some pictures from back in the day. We might even use them on the website if you are willing! .I think we are update it…

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      Great work Mary Ellen, as the kids will always keep a memory of this event!
      As far as “donations” in my comment, I meant that hopefully donations were made in my day (mid ’70’s) as they are now. I have no idea if that was done.
      Sorry, I haven’t any photos… those polaroid cameras were just to heavy to fit into a purse!

  5. Mary Ellen Rose

    Thanks Nancy, but there were 27 volunteers on the Executive Committee and somewhere around 20 or more Westport Moms AND Dads that helped chaperone on the nights of the events (each town provided their own chaperones). We have retiring committee members this year & are looking for more next year so that we can make sure it keeps happening! If you know anyone that is interested send them my way!

  6. Bev Breault

    I received every year an invitation to the County Assembly and of course went but often wondered how one was chosen.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      I assumed that everyone received an invitation. Is that not so?
      I’d hate to think that the event was pre-arranged, that kids were “chosen”.

      • Mary Ellen Rose

        All girls from the 5 schools are invited; the lists come from the schools.