YVA masquerade ball returns to fundraising scene this weekend
After a two-year hiatus, Yampa Valley Autism is bringing back one of Steamboat Springs’ long-running fundraising events with its masquerade ball.
The ball will be Saturday, April 2, at the Neas Atrium on the Colorado Mountain College campus in Steamboat Springs.
“We’re super excited to welcome back all of our returning guests and supporters and welcome a whole group of new supporters as well,” said Lisa Lorenz, executive director of YVA. “It’s our biggest fundraiser — our signature fundraiser — and we rely on it greatly for funding programs for our students, our children and our youth.”
She said the annual fundraiser helps Yampa Valley Autism provide resources and direct services to individuals and families living with autism or other disorders to cultivate their abilities and maximize their quality of life.
Last year, 70 families in Routt County were reached through the YVA’s programs. The organization also offers special programs, such as Community Cultivation, a work-ready, educational program that uses gardening, craft-making and marketing to teach students and young adults skills to be successful employees. At the same time, Yampa Valley Autism STRIDES is a program that works with local school districts to provide transitional education for students ages 18-21.
Lorenz is grateful for the event’s corporate sponsors, many of which committed to supporting the event and continued to honor those commitments after the masquerade ball became one of the first sidelined with the arrival of COVID-19 in March 2020.
In 2021, YVA switched to a luau-themed event at an outdoor venue at the Yampa River Botanic Park.
“It was a really wonderful event and a really wonderful success,” Lorenz said. “It was incredible … We actually loved it so much we want to continue having it. You know, we are thinking we might do them every other year — luau and masquerade.”
When the time came to start planning the return of the annual fundraiser, Lorenz said they chose to have a masquerade ball because of the COVID-19 mask mandates were still in place. She explained that organizers tried to have some fun by changing the name, or at least the spelling to “The Mask-uerade Ball,” taking a more lighthearted approach to what the community has faced this year.
Lorenz said that because those mandates have been lifted, masks will not be required at the ball. However, she is encouraging people who are still not comfortable with crowds to wear protective masks if they choose.
The ball is slated to take place from 6-11 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Neas Atrium. Tickets are still available for $100 at YampaValleyAutism.org.
There will also be a live auction that includes a Fiji trip, a Sprinter van trip, a NASCAR experience, an Eagles guitar, a catered dinner for eight and much more.
“We will have a live band. We have Jasmir Bellydance. We have gourmet food and beverages included, and live and silent auctions,” Lorenz said. “We’re really fortunate to have amazing community support.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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