Bahamas AIDS Foundation President Camille Lady Barnett said she anticipates that the organization’s 26th Annual Red Ribbon Ball will raise $90,000 this year.
The organization “exceeded expectations” by raising $110,000 last year.
However, Barnett said a downsized attendance is expected in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which struck Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September.
“You know, it was a difficult decision to make, given Hurricane Dorian in kind of the national tragedy, but we knew the need of the foundation and our clients still go on,” she said.
“So, we had to go ahead with the ball.”
Proceeds from the ball are used to fund the foundation’s day-to-day operations.
“To operate the foundation is in excess of $300,000, so we really need to be making over $100,000 to cover at least 50 percent of our [programs],” Barnett said.
“One of our major programs that the ball helps us to cover is a program for children and adolescents that have been impacted by HIV and AIDS.”
Barnett said the program costs roughly $2,000 per child.
There are about 200 children currently enrolled in the program, according to Barnett.
She said the program is an after-school organization that engages children with counselors, social workers and other professionals. It includes meals for participants.
The ball is set for November 23, 2019, at the Atlantis Resort.
The theme is fire and ice.
Barnett said some attendees of the previous balls have described it as “a backyard party but you’re in your long dress”.
“I may be biased but I think that it is the premier ball of the season,” she said.
“People refer to our ball as the fun ball. It’s very little talking and lots of dancing.”
Tickets for the event are available at the Bahamas AIDS Foundation.
Barnett said the tickets are available for delivery.