Wellhouse Ministries is looking to keep the momentum going.
The not-for-profit is expecting its biggest turnout yet at its third annual Black & White Masquerade Ball from 5-10 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego.
The ball is the signature event to raise money for the capital project and operational costs of the Anthony House, a home for the terminally ill.
Kateri Spinella, the president and co-founder of Wellhouse Ministries, said there has also been an uptick in volunteers to help out.
“This year our numbers have increased in that we have 10 corporate sponsors and more tickets sold this year than we have in years past, so we continue to grow,” said Spinella, who said the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, Driver’s Village, and Exelon were top-tier sponsors. “We continue to grow not only in this event, but in the community in bringing awareness of the mission of Anthony House.”
Black and white attire and masks are required for the ball. Guests have the opportunity to surprise their family and friends at the just-for-fun “reveal,” along with group photo opportunities.
The Billionaires will be the entertainment, while the staff at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center will provide dinner. There will be auctions, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, and more.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online at whministries.org or at The Connection Point, 198 W. First St. in Oswego. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Individual tickets are $65 and groups of eight tickets can be bought for $455. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re very optimistic and excited,” Spinella said. “We’ve met some friends along the way that will be there again with us this year. They continue to support us, as well as many new friends who have come alongside us.
“It’s been a great experience to be able to have this event and become more rooted in the community.”
Spinella said the idea for a masquerade ball came from seeing fundraisers for other organizations, but Wellhouse wanted to put its own twist on it.
“It just kind of evolved out of some discussions and we wanted to do something a little different and fun,” Spinella said. “It’s a lot of fun. People have an opportunity to come out, and some people go all out with long gowns or they rent tuxes. It’s a good evening of mixing and mingling and having a great night out.”
The Anthony House hasn’t finalized a location, but the plan is to be a comfort care home for people with a terminal diagnosis in Oswego County. The staff would provide care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as support services for the individuals and their families.
Anyone looking to volunteer for the organization is urged to contact the office by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by visiting its website at whministries.org.
“That way, we have the opportunity to get to know people and see where their interests lie,” Spinella said. “Then we can line that up with the needs we have and plug people in.”
Spinella has seen the amount of people volunteering to help increase over the last year, and hopes it continues to trend in that direction moving forward.
“One of the things we have seen happen in the last year is the number of people who have stepped forward to volunteer in many different areas in our organization, including in this fundraising event,” Spinella said. ”We have 20-plus volunteers who have come together and have been planning this event for many, many months to help ensure its success.”