Local Group Organizing ‘Red Ball’ Fund-Raiser

BY ANITA WEISHEIT, Times-Union Staff Writer

The American Red Cross of Kosciusko County will hold its first “Red Ball,” a formal ball and fund-raiser, in February. Photo Provided

Red Cross will be raising money to buy needed equipment and to honor the United Way for their contributions to the Red Cross and the community, said Red Ball Committee co-chairwoman Rebecca Kubacki. Kubacki; her husband, Lake City Bank President Michael Kubacki; Larry Teghtmeyer, owner of Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware; and his wife, Cathy, also of Lake City Bank, chair the Red Ball committee. Kubacki said the Red Cross never has large fund-raisers and February’s ball will be the first big event like this.

“This is the first time they’ve ever done anything like this,” Kubacki said about the Red Ball.

The ball is scheduled for Feb. 10, according to information released by the Red Cross. Instead of a black tie affair it will be a red tie affair to accommodate the time of year. Music will be provided by the Robert Henry Orchestra and the event will be catered by the Victorian Pantry of Granger. There also will be a silent auction for the guests to bid on various items that have been donated by both local and national organizations and private parties.

The money raised by this event will be used toward the purchase of a Disaster Assistance and Response Trailer. A DART is completely stocked with things like chain saws, sleeping bags, a generator and cooking and safety equipment.

“It’s fully stocked with anything (disaster victims) might need,” said Kubacki.

Kubacki is confident the event will bring in enough money to purchase a DART.

“I know we’ll make the $15,000 to pay for the unit,” she said. “But I’m hoping we’ll make much more than that.”

Kubacki is hoping to make this an annual event to raise funds for the Red Cross and keep it open. It isn’t in any danger of being closed down, but “we want to make sure that there isn’t any question,” Kubacki said. She wants to keep it sufficiently funded so closing will never be an issue.

Kubacki said three counties, Whitley, DeKalb and Noble, have already closed their chapters and they are consolidated in Fort Wayne. The chapters closed because of lack of funding.

“I just don’t want that happening,” she said. “I’m so impressed with the Red Cross. They run so efficiently.”

The Red Ball will honor United Way because it has been a huge supporter of the Red Cross.

“This will be a huge opportunity to thank United Way for all their help,” said Kubacki.

Although this is the first year an event of this magnitude has been sponsored by the Kosciusko County chapter, Kubacki is positive it will be spectacular. “With seven different subcommittees, and 55 people working with us, we think the Red Ball will be a smashing success,” she said. “Their enthusiasm for the event, as well as the continuing growth of the Red Cross, is overwhelming.”

The ball will be open to the public. It will be held in the Kessler Hangar at the Warsaw Airport. Tickets are $100 per person, and are available from the American Red Cross of Kosciusko County. There are also various levels of corporate and private patronage, from $500 to $3,000.

“We anticipate it being sold out,” Kubacki said.

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