Cinderella ball to honor intellectually disabled - Republic-Times | News

Cinderella ball to honor intellectually disabled

By on April 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Volunteer Ann Schneider displays the gowns donated to House of Neighborly Service for the upcoming Glass Slipper Ball. (Sean McGowan photo)

House of Neighborly Service outreach coordinator Kelly Lerch doesn’t know exactly how many items people donated to the upcoming Glass Slipper Ball.

But the fact that about 100 intellectually disabled individuals will have what they need to feel like Cinderella or Prince Charming for one magical night paints quite a picture of generosity in the community.

“We mailed out invites to over 100 people, and we’re expecting 100 to 125,” she said. “And everyone that’s needed a dress has been taken care of.”

In one case, a woman from a neighboring community donated 30 dresses to HNS after seeing the event on Facebook. Lerch said HNS plans to make the ball an annual event and the woman wants to make the same donation next year.

The formal ball will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. April 27 at The Beacon in Waterloo to celebrate Human Support Services clients who volunteer during the holiday outreach program by organizing and delivering collected donations.

According to Lerch, the clients also stepped up by delivering meals to senior citizens when Western Egyptian suspended its “meals on wheels” program in 2015.

“The clients always want to help, and they’re always so happy to deliver Christmas gifts,” Lerch said. “I feel like they’re a hidden resource that people don’t know they’re there.”

The male clients will wear donated tuxedos while the women will also have formal shoes, rhinestone jewelry and purses as part of their ensemble.

“With the announcement of our HNS Glass Slipper Ball at the end of April, we have had some amazing neighbors step up and bring us formal dresses, offer to help with makeup, hair, food, desserts, waitress, cook, you name it!” an HNS Facebook post stated of the community support.

In total, about 20 volunteers will serve food and dance with clients during the ball.

“There isn’t anyone we’ve (asked for help) that’s said no. Everyone wants to lift them up,” Lerch, who also serves as Waterloo School District wellness coordinator, said, adding that the Waterloo High School horticulture class made corsages.

Jan Crawford, president of the HSS Board of Directors, said intellectually disabled persons coming out of the high school transition programs will also be at the event. Guests of the ball will be able to hold on to the memory for years to come as one Columbia High School student agreed to record the entire night.

In addition to appetizers at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and dancing from 7 to 9 p.m., a king and queen will be crowned at 8 p.m. A photo booth will also be available. For information on volunteer needs for the event, contact

“I think it’s going to be great,” Lerch said.

Crawford said HSS recently had a pizza party for clients when they exuberantly spoke of the opportunity to dress up and dance.

“The clients are so excited about the ball,” she said. “They kept asking, ‘Are you coming to the ball? Are you going to dance with me? What color is your dress? My dress is green.’

“Everyone is so excited.”

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