Community invited to join the fun at Ball of the Wild

Photo: J. Pamela

By Mary Alys Cherry

One of the area’s most popular events is coming up Saturday, April 1 – the Assistance League of the Bay Area’s always fun Ball of the Wild.

And, as they work to make it another smash hit, they’re inviting the community to join in the fun and help them raise big bucks to support their philanthropic endeavors such as Operation School Bell which helps provide clothes for needy students in our area and Operation Cinderella, which outfits young men and women in prom appropriate attire for their senior prom – those who might otherwise not be able to attend.

The ball in South Shore Harbour Resort’s Crystal Ballroom includes dinner and dancing to the music of local band favorite, The Navigators, plus live and silent auctions – even face painting — with ABC 13 Traffic Anchor Rebecca Spera as mistress of ceremonies. Jennie Hampton is serving as chairman of the gala with Pam Bungo as vice chairman. Dress is safari chic (whatever that means), dressy casual, animal prints or a costume, Jennie says, adding that you can dress like a jungle animal, if you wish. Just follow your animal instincts. Many have in the past, arriving as bunny rabbits, yellow jackets, etc. For sure, this party’s going to be wild!

Tickets, which are $125 each, may be purchased at the Assistance League resale shop, 100 E. NASA Parkway, Suite 80, in Webster or online at or email

Event underwriter and sponsorship packages are available ranging from $250 to $5,000 and may include tickets, as well as invitation, event, program or website recognition. For information, contact Yvonne Perrin at Meanwhile, Auction Chairman Gail Ashby and her committee are already soliciting for sought-after items, entertainment packages and hotel getaways.

The Bay Area Houston community is blessed with a number of nonprofit organizations that work in many ways to enrich our lives.

But few devote as many long hours to helping those in need as the Assistance League. Its members not only lend a helping hand. They go the extra mile in all they do. Just this past fall, the 2014-2015 school year, their Operation School Bell project spent hundreds of hours clothing more than 2,477 needy students. A similar number are being clothed this year.

“A donation of only $50 provides one child three shirts, two pairs of pants, socks, undergarments, a shoe voucher and a hygiene kit,” Jennie explained.

Besides helping students with clothing, ALBA also assists some students with dental care donated by Drs. Cindy Castille and Mitch Foster plus orthodontic care donated by Dr. Joe Dusek. Some students who need eye exams and cannot afford them receive them through Assistance League’s partnership with Dr. Melissa Sommers and Communities In Schools – Bay Area. Assistance League reimburses Dr. Sommers $30 per screening and she generously donates the remaining fees.

“Please help us continue these philanthropic programs…by joining us for a night of celebration and good will at this year’s gala, becoming a sponsor or by simply requesting a donation form and helping the Assistance League provide these valuable services to the children of the Bay Area,” Jennie Hampton says, adding, “You can make a difference.”

Some of the others assisting her with arrangements include Ann Hammond, Lori Ray, Dee Wolfe, Carol Base, Nancy Sanders, Mavis Irvan, Sandy Vail, Valerie Staples,  Marcia Turner, Misty Killebrew, Belinda Scheurich, Arlis Miles, Katie Jones, Elaine Rister and Brunella Altemus.

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