Celebrate the Children' is theme of JA ball

By By Ida Brown/The Meridian Star
Feb. 2, 2001
For this year's ball, the Meridian Junior Auxiliary continues its emphasis on charity.
Proceeds from the evening fund-raiser will benefit service projects supported by JA volunteers throughout the year. The projects exemplify the auxiliary's commitment to making an impact on the children of today to foster productive citizens of tomorrow.
Auxiliary projects include:
City and County Welfare in which members work with school nurses, counselors, administrators, social workers and other community agencies to provide counseling, clothing, food, eye, dental and hearing examinations or any other needs;
Someone To Talk To, a puppet show demonstrating four types of abuse is presented to first graders in city and county schools. After the performance, a Junior Auxiliary member leads the children in a discussion about the show and informs them about who to go to for help; and
Reading Is Fundamental, during which members distribute books to second- through fourth-graders in all accredited schools in Lauderdale County. The auxiliary also sponsors the National RIF Poster Contest for the Meridian area.
The Meridian Junior Auxiliary also sponsors a scholarship at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus for a junior or senior education major; provides mini-grant funding to elementary teachers in all accredited Lauderdale County schools for projects or materials to enrich and enhance school curriculums; and locates and sponsors speakers and drama troupes for eight- and ninth-graders in Meridian and Lauderdale County. Drug and alcohol prevention programs are featured.
Organizers of the annual charity ball promise an exciting evening of socializing, food and music.
Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served and will include foods prepared by JA members, as well as chefs from D.T. Grinders, Outback Steakhouse, The Rustler, O'Charley's, Chick-Fil-A, Popeye's and Luby's.
The menu will feature: steamed shrimp with cocktail served with a special white sauce; smoked sausage with Greek peppers and olives; sirloin roast with potato rolls and smoked chicken breast; Steamship Roast with potato rolls and horseradish sauce; chicken bites; Crawfish Tasso, penne pasta and smoked duck; crawfish corn chowder; Shrimp Victoria Soup; spicy spinach dip with tortilla chips; crawfish dip with sliced french bread; Little Macs; a pastry puff medley; Tortellini with Parsley Caper Sauce; fresh vegetables with dill dip; marinated cheese; open face chicken salad and cucumber sandwiches; herbed cheesecake with crackers; a cheese ring with crackers; cheese straws; Baby BLTs; and Southwestern Tartlets.
Desserts will include tiny pecan tarts, a caramel flan and cream cheese brownies.
Music will be provided by The Fabulous Expressions. The party band's repertoire includes 60s music, R&B and beach music. They have performed with artists such as James Brown, Gary Puckett, Ben E. King, The Platters, The Drifters, The Association. Chubby Checker, John Sebastian, Percy Sledge and Marie Osmond.
Although the charity ball is open to the public, there is an age limit of 21 and older. Dress will be formal.
Tickets are $40, singles; $80, couples and may be purchased in advance from any JA member. Tickets also will be available on the night of the ball, however seating is not guaranteed.
Ida Brown is lifestyles editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail her at ibrown@meridianstar.com.

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