Sometimes, hosting an event is a great way to give back, and in the case of Michigan City’s Mayors Ball, it was the perfect opportunity to do so. On Saturday night, Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer and his wife Agnes hosted the 2015 ‘Starry Nights’ Mayors Ball at Blue Chip Casino’s Stardust Event Center to raise money for two vital Michigan City non-profit organizations.
The Michigan City Women’s Commission and The North Central Community Action Agency’s Emmet D. Wise Neighborhood Center and George & Madeline Smrt Neighborhood Center were chosen to be the benefactors of the money raised from the evening’s festivities. The decision to pick those two organizations was something that Mayor Meer struggles with each year, but he decided that the selected organizations were the right choices for this year’s Ball.
“Both of the recipients are very worthy of the donation and they’re very active. For example, The Women’s Commission's is extremely active and there’s some really great women on that board - they are not just talking about the issues they are proactive in addressing those issues,” Mayor Meer explained. “You sometimes need money to be able to continue in a mission and we’re glad to be able to provide that to them.”
Because of the generosity of the 600 attendees and multiple sponsors of the event, around $40,000 dollars was raised to be given to the selected non-profits - which meant that The Michigan City Women’s Commission and The North Central Community Action Agency each garnered a donation of $20,000.
The large donation was humbly accepted by both of the worthy organizations. The Women’s Commission, which is working diligently to better the lives of Michigan City’s women, is still in it’s first few years of existence and will use the donation to continue it’s services.
“We feel really honored to be chosen as one of the two recipients of the hefty donation. We don’t receive any federal or tax funding so our funding really relies on a handful of fundraisers.” Women’s Commission Board Member Sharon Carnes explained. “We’re just thrilled to be thought of by the Mayor and to be given such a great donation.”
The North Central Community Action Agency will soon celebrate it’s 50th anniversary and was flattered by Mayor Meer’s dedication and thought to keeping the Agency’s Emmet D. Wise Neighborhood Center and George & Madeline Smrt Center flourishing.
“We’re just really happy to be selected,” Cyndi Davis, the NCCAA’s Executive Director, explained. “The Mayor was very specific that the money would go to those two centers, which helps out our senior citizens and provide programs for children in the summer. We’re thrilled to be a part of this celebration and I think the response of everyone else has been fantastic.”
Along with all of the incredible amount of money for charity that was raised for the Mayors Ball, it simply a great party. Along with the donation announcements, Mayor Meer entertained his guests with a Star Trek parody that was performed with his Michigan City Government co-workers, and he also arranged entertainment that was provided by singer Jeff Robinson and Michigan City’s own DJ Paige Harris.
The night seemed to be a hit to everyone who came out - whether they had attended before or it was their first ever Mayor’s Ball. Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins was one of the people who loved the night from beginning to end.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity to bring a positive response for a different groups here in Michigan City,” Dr. Eason-Watkins stated. “It’s really been a wonderful evening. This is probably my third or fourth Ball and it’s always a great night out. I look forward to it and I wouldn’t miss it!”
In all the the Mayor’s Ball was a tremendous celebration of a Mayor and the community that relishes the opportunity to give back. From the thousands of dollars in support for two worthy causes to coming out in dressed to the nines in support for their city, it was a night that perfectly meshed together a celebration and benevolence. One thing was certain by the nights end - that the Starry Night truly shined bright.