Organizers have made the difficult decision to postpone Saturday evening’s gala to a date this September.
By Ronni Newton
The 20th Annual Mayor’s Charity Ball, which was to have been held this Saturday, May 11, has officially been postponed to Saturday, Sept. 7, organizers announced Wednesday.
The Mayor’s Charity Ball Board of Directors issued a letter Wednesday afternoon, stating that the difficult decision was made to cancel “due to unforeseen conflicts,” and by setting a different date more people and businesses would be available to support the 20th anniversary event.
“There are conflicts on May 11, and an extraordinary number of people are away, there are conflicting events,” said Tracy Flater, president of the Mayor’s Charity Ball Board of Directors. “It just seems to make sense to move to a date where it can be more successful.”
West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, who is honorary chair of the Mayor’s Charity Ball along with her husband, Michael, said she agrees with the decision.
“Usually we sell a lot of tickets at the end, but those sales have not been robust this year, and we found out there were a lot of conflicts,” Cantor said Wednesday. She said that people were disappointed that they were going to be unable to attend on May 11.
“I respect the decision of the Mayor’s Charity Board to move the event to a date that is much more accessible. I am so grateful for their efforts to support the Town that Cares and Playhouse on the Park and I know that this will be a great time for all,” said Cantor.
“I have it on my calendar for Sept. 7, and I’m excited to try out this event in the fall,” Cantor said.
As soon as Town Hall, DORO Catering and Events, emcees Dennis House and Kara Sudlun, and the tent rental could be confirmed, the new Sept. 7 date was set late Wednesday afternoon, and Flater said that there is already incredible enthusiasm.
House said he thinks having the Ball the weekend after Labor Day is a very positive move.
“I think it will work out well,” House said. “It will be the first charity event of the season, a chance to dress up after being in shorts and t-shirts all summer, and it’s before football season really starts. People generally have a good attitude in September, and will be tanned and rested, and ready to celebrate being back in West Hartford.”
“It was a difficult decision, but certainly the right decision,” Flater said. She said she already received an email from someone who can never attend the Mayor’s Charity Ball because it’s the weekend of Mother’s Day, and who is excited to now be able to attend.
The committee apologized for any inconveniences that may be caused by the date change, and said they are excited to move forward with the new plan – but still definitely plan to “Party Like It’s 1999” to commemorate the Mayor’s Charity Ball 20th anniversary.
The website is being updated, and tickets for the Sept. 7 date will be on sale either late Wednesday or on Thursday. A follow up email will be sent to all who received the original notice, Flater said. They will have the opportunity to move their tickets, sponsorship, or ad to the new date, request a refund, or flip the previous ticket purchase to a tax-deductible contribution.
“West Hartford is such a special, caring community, and the tradition of taking care of each other by supporting the charities that benefit from the Mayor’s Charity Ball is important to many in the community,” said Cantor.
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