Hospitality House ribbon cutting is Feb. 4

Article Published: Jan. 27, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Friday, Feb. 4, is the big day.

After dozens of fundraising campaigns, a decade of thought, years of construction and countless stressful hours, the ribbon is ready to be cut on the new Hospitality House facility, and it's not just a ceremony. It's a celebration, as the ribbon-cutting leads to the Hearts of Hospitality Ball with the jazz stylings of area sensation Todd Wright.

"I think it's for a great cause," Wright said. "For the community to pull together and support the Hospitality House ... that's very, very important, and I think everybody should contribute."

And the music is an added bonus for charitable hearts.

"We play all different styles," Wright said. "We normally play a lot of different kinds of dance music for those involved ... a little bit of everything."

Everything, from James Brown to Van Morrison to James Taylor. Add that to a silent auction and seafood and carving stations, and you have the makings of a fantastic evening.

And this year, organizers are optimistic that party-goers will get their dance on. Organizer Rose Bridgeman remembers the trials of last year, when the ball had to be postponed due to inclement weather. "That was the first year we ever had to cancel in 15 years," she said.

This time, in the ball's 16th year, she's hoping for better luck.

"We (the Hearts of Hospitality House Auxiliary) have been doing this fundraiser ever since it began, and, in the past, it's always been to fulfill needs that weren't in the Hospitality House budget," Bridgeman said, needs like emergency appliances.

This year's funds will go toward ongoing budgetary needs.

"Of course, with a bigger facility and more people, the budgetary needs are going to be even greater and, with the budget cuts from other sources, it's going to be really important this year," she said.

Last year's fundraiser netted about $18,000, and organizers hope to increase the cash to $25,000 or "as much as we can make."

Hospitality House director Lynne Mason knows firsthand how important the cash is to the facility.
"It is very busy right now," she said.

And the new facility will allow Hospitality House to help even more people.

"We're all just really excited about this actually all coming together, but, until it happens, we're still dealing with the reality of being in this very old shelter," she said.

And, while they won't totally be moved in by the dedication, "we'll be moving in shortly thereafter," Mason said.

The dedication happens Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. at the new facility at 338 Brook Hollow Road. The ball happens Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each and available by calling Rose Bridgeman at (828) 264-2733. The dedication ceremony is free.

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