Have a ball

Have a ball
Patty Albrecht

Since 1970 New Philadelphia-based PFCS, a part of Ohio Guidestone, has improved the lives of thousands of individuals and families through counseling, support, advocacy and education.


You may be surrounded by mysterious masked partyers while sipping bubbly champagne and dancing the night away at the Personal and Family Counseling Services’ 10th annual Masquerade Ball, but there’s no concealing the impact the event has on the lives of people who are in need.

“Last year’s ball raised almost $27,000, which allowed us to provide almost 5,500 nights of safe shelter to women who were victims of domestic violence,” said Jamie Smith, assistant director of PFCS and chair of the auxiliary board that organized the event. “Our first nine Masquerade Balls raised more than $111,000 to help fund our programs.”

The 10th annual PFCS Masquerade Ball will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Union Country Club in Dover. Appetizers will be served from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with a three-course sit-down dinner at 6:30 p.m.

“Masks are optional, but we’ll have some available for purchase in case you don’t have time to get one in advance,” Smith said.

The ball is PFCS’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“Fundraising is important because all of our programs can’t be funded by Medicaid and grants,” Smith said. “There is always some vital service that can fall into the gap, and the funds we raise fill that gap. The money raised by the people who support this event touches somebody in a very direct and personal way.”

And attendees are personally impacted by the fun, Smith said.

“It’s unlike any other fundraiser you’re likely to attend,” she said. “It’s a wonderful night out with dancing, an incredible meal and a festive atmosphere. It’s a perfect night out to break up the post-holiday winter blahs.”

After debuting to rave reviews last year, a champagne bar will allow guests to create their own bubbly libations with fruits, juices and purees. Dinner will be followed by raffles, auction baskets, a 50/50 drawing and dancing to the music of a local disc jockey.

“You can’t lose when you play our jackpot event,” Smith said. “For $20 you get to pull an envelope containing a gift card for at least $25.”

Also returning after an enthusiastic reception last year will be advance online wine sales.

“Last year we sold 26 bottles, which was good for the first time,” Smith said. “This year we have Moscato and Cabernet available for prepurchase.”

Since 1970 New Philadelphia-based PFCS, a part of Ohio Guidestone, has improved the lives of thousands of individuals and families through counseling, support, advocacy and education, Smith said.

PFCS offers a variety of programs and a continuum of services that changes lives from birth to death. Counseling services include at-home and in-school treatment for children and families. PFCS’s Harbor House domestic violence shelter provides supportive services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The women’s residential treatment center provides residential substance abuse treatment for women while Recovery Point is a sober living environment for men in early recovery from opiate addiction.

Each year at the Masquerade Ball, PFCS presents a video about one of its programs. This year’s focus will be on the school-based counseling and support program.

“It’s a growing need,” Smith said. “Our programs go beyond the prevention programs about bullying, suicide and drug abuse. All of those things are happening, and the kids involved are in need of the therapeutic counseling we offer. Our therapists who go into the schools are mental-health professionals who work closely with teachers and counselors to help the students who are struggling with behavioral health concerns.”

Beginning in 2018, PFCS is now able to fill psychiatric medication prescriptions for children age 6 and higher.

“Most Tuscarawas County families whose children need this medication have been traveling to Akron or Canton to get it,” Smith said. “We’re making it a lot more convenient for them.”

Tickets to the Masquerade Ball cost $65 single or $120 couple. Tickets are limited and available only by advance sale. They can be purchased online at Personal-Family-Counseling.com or by stopping in at the PFCS offices. You can choose your meal selection when you register. The Union Country Club is located at 1000 N. Bellevue Ave. in Dover. PFCS is located at 1433 Fifth St. in New Philadelphia. You can call PFCS at 330-343-8171.

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