Takes a Village to Host Firemen’s Ball

Members serve dinner during the 2015 Firemen’s Ball.

A sit down roast beef dinner and an evening of dancing for 500 people?….No problem.  That is, as long as you have a supportive community behind you.  There is a very busy group of people who spear head the effort for one of  Kent’s largest town wide events, but there are countless individuals and businesses in town who truly jump through hoops to help the KVFD host its annual Ball. This year the event is Saturday, June 9.

“We have a great group working on the ball – it is truly a collaborative effort.” stated Karren Garrity, Ball chair, “The key has been having a good sized and diverse committee.  Every year we aim to improve the event and make as many people as happy as possible.”

The Ball has used several different venues- including the Community House, the parking lot at the Town Hall, Kent Center School’s ball field to indoors in the gym.  South Kent School was also home for the Ball for a number of years.  Then the Ball began to outgrow the indoor places in town so it was moved to a tent, then two tents and even one year with three tents. For 5 years the Ball was hosted in the indoor ice arena at Kent School.

“Some of the traditions were hard to give up” said Mary Ann VanValkenburg, also a long time committee member. “For years we used to go out in the fire trucks, knocking on doors to sell Ball tickets.  It was a lot of fun and people seemed to enjoy the idea of the fire truck driving through their neighborhoods and pulling up to their house.  But many times no one was home.  It was extremely labor intensive and we had to find another way to reach everybody.”  Invitations are now mailed to homes in Kent.

Dancers enjoyed the 2011 Firemen’s Ball.

“There are so many townspeople who help out in different ways”  Darlene Brady added.  “Each year a group of non KVFD members fold all of the napkins for the tables, local restaurants and commercial kitchens provide many of the appetizers for the evening, businesses help with everything from selling tickets to the decorations and the table linens, even the garbage cans and dumpsters are provided for the evening.”  Truly an amazing collaborative effort.

“So when you arrive at the Ball this year,” Brady said, “just take a moment to appreciate the wonderful community we live in and realize that it does in deed take a village to host a Ball.”

The Ball will be held on Saturday, June 9th at The Kent Volunteer Fire Department, 28 Maple St., Kent.  Doors will open at 6 pm.  Dinner will be served at 7 pm, followed by dancing.

Tickets are still available: https://2018kvfdfiremensball.eventbrite.com

Tickets are $40 per person and $45 at the door.  Table reservations may be made by emailing ball@kentfire.org or calling 927.3080.  Tickets may be purchased at Kent Fabrics, Kent Wine and Spirit and Town Clerk’s office.

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