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Charity ball to mark its 58th year
Event raises money for Junior League
1210Eliza Paris
Eliza Paris, Lanierland Civitan Club
Charity Ball
The 58th annual Gainesville-Hall County Junior League Charity Ball will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Chattahoochee Country Club. Tickets cost $125 per couple and include entertainment and a buffet dinner. Tickets may be purchased through Friday. For more information call 770-535-1951.

Though a lot has changed in 50 years — cars, clothes, technology — there are still some things that remain the same.

The Gainesville-Hall County Junior League’s Charity Ball is one of those constants. League members are preparing for the 58th annual ball, which is 8 p.m. Saturday at the Chattahoochee Country Club.

"Not only is the charity ball a wonderful event and holiday tradition, but it gives the league an opportunity to partner with other civic groups to better our community," said Robyn Lynch, Junior League president.

"What’s unique about the charity ball, is that it allows us to involve young women in Gainesville/Hall County, in the fundraising efforts so that they can see the impact and the difference that they can make on their community."

Each year, area civic groups sponsor a candidate for Belle of the Ball. The candidates are all female, high school seniors and work to raise money for the Junior League. The candidate who raises the most money wins the crown.

The charity ball is one of the league’s major fundraisers. The money that is raised through ticket sales and by each of the candidates allows the league to continue serving the community.

"I’m really excited about being (a candidate). I’m the first person in my family to be picked," said Jessica Young, a Belle candidate who is being sponsored by the South Hall Rotary Club.

"I wrote a letter to all of our close family and friends and different contacts, asking if they could donate anything. I also went around to local businesses and asked if they wanted to make a donation. So far, a lot of our friends from church and my parents’ friends have all called and said that they’ve put something in the mail."

While many of the girls have stuck to tried and true methods like pounding the pavement to raise funds, others like Maggie Norton have taken their efforts to the digital information superhighway. Norton, sponsored by the Gainesville Jaycees, has created a video and posted it on YouTube. So far, the video has received more than 500 hits. Norton says she hopes to gain at least 1,200 $25 donations to raise a grand total of at least $30,000.

"The funds raised enable us as a league to continue to give back," said Eliza Baker, league communication chairwoman. "Last year, the league was able to donate over 5,000 volunteer hours and financial support to over 40 community agencies."