By Leah Kulikowski
This Saturday, students and community members have the opportunity to support a local homeless shelter by attending a charity ball.
The Annual Charity Ball will begin at 7 p.m. at the Landmark Inn. Provided by the Student Nurses Association, the Charity Ball is a semi-formal event with a red and black theme.
Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for non-students. All ticket proceeds will be donated to the Marquette homeless shelter Room at the Inn to support the program.
“During the Charity Ball, guests mingle, graze on hors d’oeuvres and bid on a silent auction, all to raise money for RATI,” said Erin Schafer, president of SNA.
There will be around 50 auction items guests can choose from including gift cards, jewelry, a signed hockey stick by the NMU hockey team, among others.
“This ball gives NMU students, faculty and the community an opportunity to dress up, have fun and donate for a good cause,” Schafer said.
There will also be an open dance floor with music by the Double Trouble DJs.
Schafer and Katy Kalafut, the SNA historian, said SNA wants more students to attend this year, hoping to overcome rumors that only nursing students can attend. The event is open to everyone: students, community members and faculty.
“My favorite part about the charity ball is the social aspect. This is an NMU and community event, and I love to see both working together. It is nice to socialize with faculty outside of the classroom too,” Schafer said.
Schafer also said that she enjoys the atmosphere of the ball.
“It is an evening of elegance at the Landmark Inn; the night just feels special,” Schafer said.
The students and community are able to pull together in an evening of fun while donating to a good cause.
Through a voting process, RATI was chosen as the benefactor of all donations and earnings from the tickets and the silent auction.
Led by Robyn Royhs, RATI is a volunteer-run shelter dedicated to aiding homeless people in the Marquette area.
Twelve churches volunteer their facilities and every week RATI switches its location between the churches, posting their schedule so guests know where it’s going.
The organization provides aide to homeless people while also helping them set up a 30-day plan to find a job.
Kalafut volunteered at RATI and she came out of the experience with a new perspective on what it means to be homeless.
“It could be any one of us who needs someplace to stay,” Kalafut said.
She strongly encouraged people to forget the popularized image of the homeless person and to realize that any person could need help from programs like RATI at some point in their lives.
Adults 18 and older can come to the RATI for a safe place to receive a hot meal and a warm place to stay during the fall and winter months.
The facility is closed for a few months in the summer due to a lack of volunteers but reopens when the weather gets colder.
SNA is trying to support awareness of RATI. Since the organization is run by volunteers, the financial benefits earned from the Charity Ball will be able to greatly help them.
For more information regarding this event, email Schafer at [email protected]