{mosimage}The Blue Jean Ball, scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Highland Country Club, wasn’t always a kid friendly party. In fact, last year was the first time youth were included. And they were included in every aspect of it, with great success.
    “The Blue Jean Ball is kind of two parties in one. It’s multigenerational,” said Sandy Ammons, event coordinator. “What that means is we’ve got one party for the kids with a deejay and food and dancing and they have a great time.” 
    The kids portion of the program is scheduled to be held in the ballroom of the country club. The Blue Jean Ball is a fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Center.
    “In the lounge and the other area you’ve got the adult party,” said Ammons. “We have a reception and we have a silent auction. We’re all together but it is kind of two separate parties.”
    According to Ammons, the kids plan all aspects of their party — they pick the music, the food, and help stuff the invitations.
    “Last year my kids were in middle school and it is a very social time when they are going to parties,” said Ammons. “They are so smart and so creative and when we talked about this fundraiser we thought wouldn’t it be fun if this were an event we could take our children to. So we just started brainstorming.”  
    The adult planning committee had no idea how enthusiastic the youth would be. 
“Last year at the planning committee we thought we would have to pull the ideas out of them, but no … they wouldn’t stop talking, it just grew and grew,” said Ammons. 
    The kids are also making a banner to present to the Child Advocacy Center, a pledge to do all they can to help prevent child abuse.
    The silent auction promises exciting items for people to bid on. Several chairs and stools of different styles ranging from children’s chairs to Adirondack chairs are being painted by local artists. Some local officials are participating in the cause, too.  
    “We have Mayor (Tony) Chavonne; we have some city council members and county commissioners, the registrar of deeds … A couple of our judges are participating,” said Ammons. “It’s really neat to see. We don’t give them any instructions. There is no theme that they need to stick with so it is really great to see what they come up with. That is the exciting part.” 
    The chairs will be posted on the Web site in mid-September so they can be viewed prior to the auction. There will also be other auction items like painted tubs and other creations from local artists. Ammons noted that they are expanding on last year’s auction which included travel packages, wine, food and tickets to sports activities.
  With two successful years behind them the planning committee hopes to see an increase in attendance as well as funds raised. “Last year we had around 300 (people), we are hoping to grow that,” said Ammons. “Last year we raised $43,000. This year we hope to maybe take it up to 50.”
    All proceeds go to the Child Advocacy Center Child Abuse Prevention Program, and partners and services for the children who do come to the center. 
    “The interesting thing about the CAC is we don’t charge for our services,” said Ammons. “Everything is supported through donations and grants, so we have to have fundraisers like this to support those programs.”
Tickets are $25 per youth and $50 per adult. Heavy hors d’ oeuvres will be provided. The fun starts at 7 p.m.

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