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New Venue, New Date, New Vibe… The Charity Ball Continues On!

The Annual Charity Ball returns in 2021 with a whole new vibe and venue. The Maria Love Convalescent Fund’s largest fundraiser has been a staple within the teen scene of Buffalo for over a century. As the longest running charity ball, newly dubbed “CB21” commences this Saturday, November 6 with a ‘live & in person’ party at Buffalo RiverWorks. Attendees will enjoy a night of dancing, entertainment, and food and beverages, overlooking the Buffalo River. Tickets are still available throughout the week and at the door.

CB21 organizers wanted to make this year’s event extra special, and created something a little different coming out of the pandemic that pivots toward a fresh future for the Charity Ball. More importantly, the high school event offers a live party for those that have missed out on so many social activities in the past year and a half.

“CB21 will be a semi formal night featuring great music and special guest entertainment in a fun new venue,” said Kristine Hornung-Pottle, co-chair of Charity Ball 2021. “With windows open to amazing Buffalo River views, it feels more sophisticated, and a bit more like a club.”

The event has been promoting “semi formal” attire in conjunction with the new venue and vibe. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately, but get creative with formal-to-funky attire and “stay fly,” as DJ Milk puts it. The organizers wish for everyone to feel included, by being free to rock elevated and creative party attire – especially coming out of 18 months of sweats and zooms.

DJ Milk, DJ Marley Maidment, and DJ Yes

DJ Yes and DJ Milk, ongoing supporters of Maria Love, hosted last year’s virtual Charity Ball. The duo is returning this year in-person, along with newcomer, DJ Marley Maidment, a local high school senior. Together, they plan to rip it up.

“We are excited to have these DJs back and performing in-person,” Hornung-Pottle continued. “They throw a great party, so this will definitely not be your parents’ Charity Ball!”

The entertainment for the evening does not stop at live DJs. Organizers have also added Buffalo Aerial Dance to swirl above the crowd with their incredible dance maneuvers, while suspended from ribbons.

While The Charity Ball has traditionally hosted two separate dances for middle school and high school aged students, due to current COVID immunization availability and restrictions, CB21 will be exclusive to high school students.

While The Charity Ball has traditionally hosted two separate dances for middle school and high school aged students, due to current COVID immunization availability and restrictions, CB21 will be exclusive to high school students.

“Buffalo RiverWorks was selected as the venue for this year’s dance because we wanted to make Charity Ball really memorable for these kids,” said Charity Ball co-chair, Darcy Zacher. “We moved the date of the event forward on the calendar, and we are just doing everything possible to create a once-in-a-lifetime event, while ensuring the safest possible environment for the evening.”

The event organizers will adhere to all health department and Riverworks facility rules and regulations to support a safe environment for the evening. Attendees must be prepared to present their student ID, along with proof of a current COVID vaccination through the NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet App, or a negative COVID test from a valid testing location. The Maria Love Fund has partnered with Brighton-Eggert Pharmacy to offer discounted COVID tests to anyone holding a CB21 ticket.

Proceeds from Charity Ball 2021 go directly to the Maria M. Love Convalescent Fund. The longstanding charity – named after Buffalo native and social services pioneer Maria Love – was established in 1903 to provide essential funds to the most vulnerable members of the community. Today, the organization continues the mission, making over 500 donations annually, covering many necessities to bring relief to patients and their families experiencing the burdens of daunting medical costs. The organization also funds larger grants that are distributed annually to organizations in the area.

“We’ve learned that many of the students that attend The Charity Ball don’t realize the impact they’re making with their ticket purchase, and this includes the many parents who purchase tickets for their children,” according to Sarah Williams, President of the Maria M. Love Fund Board of Directors.

As the focal point of the ball remains philanthropic, many of the kids attending now resonate with the charity a bit better knowing that their ticket purchase can directly impact convalescent care. With proper funding, patients are able to procure ‘quality of life devices’ such as vibrating watches or alarms for the hearing impaired, upgrades to wheelchairs, or adaptive ice skating lessons for children with disabilities.

“I can easily hear music at a party, but I love knowing that my contribution may give someone who cannot hear an opportunity to join me,” said Wylie Pottle, high school freshman.

The Mission of the Maria M. Love Fund is to promote the well-being and independence of Erie County residents whose medical conditions place them in need of interim financial assistance. Our clients are referred to us by social service agencies, and every year, we assist hundreds of individuals by helping to pay for costly medicines, medical goods, transport to medical appointments, and the necessities of daily living—utilities and rent. The needs for assistance from the Maria Love Fund are greater than ever. For more information, visit www.marialovefund.org.

Also new for CB21, tickets can be purchased all week online at www.marialovecharityball.com and a limited amount of tickets are going to be available at the door on Saturday, November 2, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Event runs from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. 

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