By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Typically Catholic Charities would be in the middle of final preparations for their annual Bishop’s Ball fundraiser at the Country Club of Jackson, but because of COVID-19 they’ve had to get creative with the way they raise money for the many programs they operate that help so many in need around the state.
So, this year, Catholic Charities is inviting all to support the fifteenth annual Bishop’s Ball fundraiser “at home” on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 6 p.m. through Facebook Live at facebook.com/catholiccharitiesjackson, where participants can attend regardless of their location and dress up or dress down for the cause.
While the current health crisis has interrupted plans to host the event in person, the need to raise funds for Catholic Charities is as critical as ever. Virtual attendees will be able to participate in an online silent auction and raffle at bidpal.net/bb20 that includes items such as an autographed Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey, a Joseph’s Studio 10-piece nativity set, a personalized comedy hour for friends and family by a professional stand-up comedian, art by William Dunlap, and a Godfather movie poster autographed by Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Francis Ford Coppola. Additionally, the auction and raffle will include lots of local artwork for every collector. People can join the auction beginning May 23 by texting bb20 to 243725 to receive a personalized one-click login for the auction event. Bidding begins on May 30. Raffle winners will be announced during the Facebook Live event on June 5.
The site is open to anyone, anywhere and items that are won can be picked-up the week following the Bishop’s Ball virtual event at Catholic Charities office in Jackson or shipping is available for an additional fee.
Most events are not complete without a cocktail hour and Catholic Charities virtual Bishop’s Ball is no exception. Colton Woodward of Fizz Mobile Bartending will be on hand during the Facebook Live event to demonstrate how to make the event’s signature cocktail. To participate gather vodka, lemon juice, two strawberries, a few fresh basil leaves, some sugar and club soda (for those 21 and older, of course).
Julie O’Brien, development associate at Catholic Charities Jackson, says “we would like to encourage folks to host a small viewing party at their home. We are even offering gift boxes that include cups, napkins, drink ingredients (including alcohol) and snacks.” The boxes have everything needed for the cocktail demonstration for up to 10 people and cost $250. Just call 601-331-1152 or 601-362-3758 by May 29 to place your order.
At the close of the Bishop’s Ball “at home” event the organization will be saluting essential workers in our community. “We want to honor healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, service industry workers and everyone who has kept our community going during this crisis,” says O’Brien.
For additional information, visit www.catholiccharitiesjackson.org or call 601-355-8634.
By Joanna Puddister King