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Annual ‘Charity Ball’ Going Virtual… Coming to a Home Near You

Were you aware that Buffalo’s Charity Ball is considered “The nation’s longest running ball dance?” I didn’t. Yes, the Ball is now in its 117th year. And what a year to celebrate, right? It all depends on how you look at it, I suppose.

A pandemic has the potential of spoiling all of the fun. COVID is a dance partner that no one want to take to the ball, and no one wants to bring home at the end of the night. That’s why Charity Ball organizers have decided to side step this year’s semi formal dance, by hosting it virtually at home. While this might not sound like as much fun, you might be surprised when you consider the possibilities. Not only are young people invited to take part in the dance, so are their parents!

“While we’ll miss the flare and fashion that the semi-formal dance typically brings, the virtual format offers a lot of room for creativity, so we’re certain that the element of fun will be alive and well,” said Kate Bowen-Smith, co-chair of Charity Ball 2020.  “We are excited that this new format allows adults to join the fun – whether they attended the Charity Ball five or 50 years ago,” continued Bowen-Smith. “Our theme is #ShareTheLove which is exactly what this community and organization have done for decades.”

This year’s new format welcomes all ages, with entertainment for students and parents alike – all in one, exciting event.

Aside from everyone having a good time, getting dressed up and dancing at home with their favorite partner, the Charity Ball is also a fundraiser for the Maria M. Love Convalescent Fund – a charity that was established in 1903, “to provide essential funds to the most vulnerable members of the community.”

“We’ve learned that many of the students that attend The Charity Ball don’t realize the impact they’re making with their ticket purchase, and this includes the many parents who purchase tickets for their children,” said Sarah Williams, president of the Maria M. Love Fund Board of Directors. “The virtual nature of this year’s program will allow us to spotlight some of the stories and the ways in which we help people right here in this community.”

The Charity Ball 2020 will take place on Friday, December 4 at 7 p.m. Hosted by local influencers DJ Yes, DJ Milk and Joel Almand, the online party will feature live bands, celebrity guests, and a silent auction.

The event offers a range of ticket options from “access passes” starting at $40 to “Loving Table Host” packages that include access to the event as well as a dinner package from Hutch’s. Tickets can be purchased at

Lead image: Photo by Gavin Penor

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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