ALTON - Mayor David Goins and the organization Friends for David Goins invites the community to join them for the second annual Mayor’s Charity and Fundraiser Ball on Saturday, Oct. 7.
This year’s theme is “A Night in Disguise,” a masquerade ball with a Mardi Gras twist. The event will raise money for both David Goins’s campaign and the Overnight Warming Center, while also honoring community members and two NFL football players from Alton. Anyone who wants to attend must RSVP by Sept. 16 at the event’s webpage.
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“This is a charity/campaign fundraiser for Friends for David Goins,” Sheila Goins, First Lady of Alton, explained. “We wanted to raise money for the campaign, but we also wanted to raise money and give back to a charity that’s doing what we see to be a great thing…And we’re just going to have a good time.”
The night will kick off at 5:30 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Community College Commons. Red and Black Brass Band will play during the cocktail hour and silent auction. After dinner, Minister Dave Burger will lead attendees in prayer and a moment of reflection in memory of Reverend George Humbert.
The event will also recognize Michael Ford and Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott, two NFL players from Alton, with a Hometown Royalty Award before dancing begins with music provided by the Premier Protainment Band featuring Danita Mumphard. Stand-up comedian Shawn Banks will emcee the event. Banks is from Alton, and Sheila noted that he is “on his way to stardom.
“Our bands are going to be amazing,” she added. “We’re going to have the Red and Black Brass Band, and they’re kind of a funky brass band that can get us in the vibe, in the mood of New Orleans. And then the Premiere Protainment Band is going to be performing during our dinner hour, and then we’ll go right into dinner and dancing after our program. It’s going to be fun.”
The Hometown Royalty Award will recognize Ford and Elliott for their success. Mike Ford, who is the cornerback for the Cleveland Browns, spent his childhood in Alton and attended Marquette Catholic High School. Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott was also raised in Alton and plays for the New England Patriots as a running back.
“It means everything to me,” Ford said about the recognition. “Hopefully one day, one of these kids from Alton can be another one of me, hopefully make it to the NFL.”
He added that he hasn’t yet decided what mask to wear to the ball, but he promises it will be “top-tier.”
During last year’s Mayor’s Ball, Friends for David Goins honored Yvonne Campbell from Alton’s My Just Desserts and former Secretary of State Jesse James. The event raised funds for Oasis Women’s Center in Alton. Humbert, a major supporter of the center, accepted on their behalf.
Friends for David Goins has decided to fundraise for the Overnight Warming Center this year. This local nonprofit coordinates shelter for unhoused people during cold weather. Sheila voiced the City’s appreciation for their work.
“We really feel very passionate about the unhoused in our community, and we understand that it is an epidemic that is not exclusive to just our city, but nationwide,” she said. “The Overnight Warming Center is just a very small answer to a huge problem. And so we’re just excited to be a part of lining their pockets a little bit so that they can have the necessary things that they need this winter when the temperatures go down and the unhoused are welcome to stay there overnight.”
Sheila hopes to see approximately 450 people at the ball this year. Masks are not required for the “A Night in Disguise” theme, but they are encouraged, and complementary masks will also be available. Tickets and sponsorship slots start at $100, and funds will go toward David Goins’s campaign and the Overnight Warming Center.
“We are looking forward to an evening of purpose, and fun!” Mayor David Goins added.
A related story to come about Michael Ford and Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott, two NFL players from Alton.
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