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Junior League to host 60th annual charity ball
Women raise funds to benefit organizations
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Junior League Charity Ball

When: 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday
Where: Chattahoochee Country Club, 3000 Club Drive, Gainesville
How much: $75 per person or $125 per couple
Contact: 770-535-1951

Belle of the Ball candidates

Logan Brown, Rotary Club of Gainesville
Emmy Carswell, Lanierland Civitan Club
Caroline Franklin, Evening Optimist Club
Molly Gay, Gainesville Jaycees
Caroline Hodge, South Hall Rotary Club
Madeline Maney, Kiwanis Club
Holly Puckett, Elks Lodge #1126

One of Gainesville's favorite holiday traditions has reached a milestone this year.

Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County Charity Ball.

The ball began soon after the organization was formed in the 1950s and is one of the Junior League's biggest fundraising events of the year.

Every year, area civic groups select a high school girl to be their Belle of the Ball candidate. The girls then seek to raise money for the Junior League.

"The money goes back to the Junior League, and we use it to help other organizations in the community who meet our mission of helping children and families," said Callie Flack, Junior League communication chairwoman.

The event, held at the Chattahoochee Country Club, is open to the public and tickets are priced at $75 per person or $125 for a couple. The ball is black tie with a masquerade theme.

"As much as it's a fun and exciting and glamorous night, much of it too is about community and families in need," said Suzie Hawkins, co-chairwoman of the Charity Ball.

This year, seven young ladies are vying to be the Belle of the Ball. The girl who raises the most money wins the title.

"We leave it to the girls to do the fundraising," Hawkins said. "They're out there and they're working hard."

Among the glitz and glamour of the night there also will be a silent auction to benefit the Junior League. It will feature several items including spa, date night, vacation and golf packages.

"It's a very special Gainesville tradition and an enchanted evening," said Helen Powell, sustaining member of the Junior League.

Powell has gone to several Charity Balls since her days as a belle candidate in 1974.

"It's really grown over the years; every year it gets bigger and better," she said.

She said she feels proud of all the hard work and long hours so many ladies have put into the community through the Junior League for so many years.

Reigning Belle Callie Sartain, mirrored that sentiment but admitted being crowned made her feel like a princess.

"I know this sounds corny but it was probably one of the best days of my life," Sartain said.

This Saturday she will have the honor of crowning the new Belle of the Ball.

But she emphasized that the girls should enjoy the experience, not stress about raising the most money.

"Even if you don't win, you're still helping the community," Sartain said.


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