By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
Miss Clinton County Ashley Herrington hopes to promote dance and provide area residents with a formal night of fun.
Residents will have the opportunity to don their formal attire for the Gateway Contemporary Ballet’s first Black and White ball. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Tuscany Special Events Center, 2417 Cleveland St.
The evening will start with a cocktail hour, featuring hand-served hors d’oeuvres. A dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. with dancing at 8 p.m.; Coupe DeVille will perform.
A silent auction will be held throughout the night. Herrington said items include a purse donated by Don’s Jewelry, tickets to shows at the Adler Theatre and gift certificates to restaurants. A raffle also will be held for a 32-inch flat screen TV. The event also will feature red carpet photography and Herrington as Miss Clinton County.
“It is going to be a one-of-a-kind event,” Linda Luckstead, founder of the Gateway Contemporary Ballet company, said. She added that the event will be at a beautiful venue with beautiful food and music.
“So I think we can’t miss,” Luckstead said.
After being crowned Miss Clinton County 2012 on July 28, Herrington created the “Reaching Out Through Dance” program as her platform. The program is designed to embody her passion of dance as art. She has performed at schools and nursing homes, taught dance clinics and even choreographed a flash mob that was performed at RAGBRAI.
“So it’s me working one on one with our community — trying to promote dance as an art form in our small community,” Herrington said.
She recently formed a partnership with the Gateway Contemporary Ballet. She wanted to create awareness in the community about Clinton’s only non-profit dance company, which has been around for more than 25 years. Herrington and the GCB Board considered what kind of fundraiser they could hold to promote dance and highlight the company.
“We wanted a formal event, something that you could pull out your nice clothes for and have a fun night out,” Herrington said. “There’s not enough formal events, I feel, here.”
Herrington said the event will be a good fundraiser and a fun evening. She is happy with the community support she has received so far. Area businesses have donated items for the silent auction while other businesses have purchased tables at the ball for their employees.
Tickets to the event are $50 per person or $350 for a table of eight. This ticket price includes the ball, as well as a free ticket to Sunday’s performance of “The Piano,” which will be held at 2 p.m. at the Masonic Center, 416 S. First St. Tickets should be purchased by Wednesday by calling 242-1002.