Conscious Party: Beat the Winter Blues Ball

HEAT WAVE: Attendees enjoy the 2016 Rotary Club of Asheville-Metro's Beat the Winter Blues Ball. This year's edition takes place Feb. 3 at the YMI Cultural Center and benefits Coins for Alzheimer's Research Trust and ABCCM's Veterans Restoration Quarters. Photo by John Coutlakis

WHAT: A party to benefit Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust and ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 3, 6:30-10 p.m.

WHERE: YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market St.

WHY: Chartered in 2012, the Rotary Club of Asheville-Metro is the youngest in its 50-club district. It’s also a fairly small club, but its 13 members have been active in service projects from the start and, in 2016, were looking to, in the words of club Secretary John Russell, “put ourselves on the map.”

“We wanted to help the community more … so we decided to just throw a party,” Russell says. “And because January and February are right in the middle of what we call ‘the winter blues,’ somebody came up with the title ‘Beat the Winter Blues.’”

The latest seasonal fundraiser is set for Saturday, Feb. 3, at YMI Cultural Center. Heavy snacks will be catered by Strada along with an open beer and wine bar. Asheville band WestSound returns for a second consecutive year with a mix of classic rock and what Russell calls “just good dance music.” The evening’s attire is “Asheville Chic” and attendees are invited to interpret that phrase as they will.

“Asheville people are a very eclectic bunch. You’ll see all kinds of dress at any type of party,” Russell says. “We encourage everyone to dress the way they feel. We’ll have some that are dolled up to the nines, some in jeans and anything in between. It’s sort of a ‘come as you are.’”

In addition to ticket sales, proceeds from the event come from a silent auction, featuring such items as alpaca ponchos and blankets from Ecuador, a Kennedy Space Center astronaut training for two (including round-trip airfare and a hotel room) and memorabilia autographed by The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, NFL Hall of Famers and the casts of the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings series.

For its first two years, the ball has raised an average of $1,000 each for one regional and one local charity. The 2018 Beat the Winter Blues Ball will once more benefit Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust, which is headquartered in Atlanta and has been a major fundraising project for Rotary Clubs throughout the Southeast for over 20 years. It will be joined by Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s Veterans Restoration Quarters, which Russell says does “wonderful work.”

The Beat the Winter Blues Ball takes place Saturday, Feb. 3, 6:30-10 p.m. at the YMI Cultural Center. $50.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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