Columbus Police Department Investigator Kevin McCrary and Patrol Officer Rhonda Sanders talk about plans for the department’s annual Community Masquerade Ball in this Dispatch file photo. Sanders and McCrary are among organizers of this year’s ball slated for Friday, April 18.
Photo by: Dispatch file photo
April 5, 2014 8:20:19 PM
Two initiatives important to the Columbus Police Department are about to get a substantial boost. The department's annual Community Masquerade Ball set for Friday, April 18 will support the CPD's citywide toy drive and its observance of National Night Out on Crime.
The masquerade theme has proven so popular at the past few balls, organizers are bringing it back again this year.
"It's gone over so well. We just get such good feedback about it," said Patrol Officer Rhonda Sanders. She has helped spearhead the annual event for about nine years. Community volunteers assist, too, in planning the semi-formal ball.
"The biggest part of the proceeds will go to our toy drive for the 400 kids we adopt throughout the city," explained Sanders. "We see the need and a lot of us wanted to help." Toys, including bicycles, are distributed during Christmas week each year.
So many kids just see the police as enforcers, Sanders said. "We want them to know there is more to being a police officer than just arresting people. We want to give back to our community."
For National Night Out on Crime later this year, the Columbus Police Department will once again host block parties that bring neighborhoods and CPD officers together for an evening of positive networking. The goal is to "send crime on its way."
In addition to benefiting the two designated projects, the masquerade ball will also provide an opportunity to support a medical fund for two Lowndes County Sheriff's Department deputies injured by gunfire in an incident March 18. A box for donations to assist deputies Larry Swearingen and Clint Sims will be available. All contributions will go to a medical fund that has been established at a local bank.
Logan the Entertainer returns to the ball this year. The West Point native is based now out of Birmingham, Ala. Read more about him at logantheentertainer.com.
The event menu features Cornish hens prepared by Glenn Baldwyn's Smoking Hot Barbecue, plus rice pilaf by Huck's Place. Other items round out the supper that "will be brought together by Tavon Johnson Catering," said Sanders.
The Masquerade Ball begins at 7 p.m. at Trotter Convention Center in downtown Columbus. Tickets are $25, available at the Columbus Police Department in the Municipal Complex, 1501 Main St., Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, 501 Main St., Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and at the Bride and Groom, 120 Fifth St. S. Tickets at the door are $30.
For more information, contact Sanders, 662-251-7355, or Lavonne Harris, 662-549-2390.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.