Saturday, January 27, 2007

King’s Ball Frenchtown Mardi Gras February 9th Parade on February 10th
A new approach to fundraising galas

The Historic Frenchtown Association is putting a fresh spin on fundraising, bringing it online and creating a buzz through email. Kim Paris, of Griffey Custom Homes, is Chairman of the 2007 Frenchtown King’s Ball being held Friday, February 9th in the Foundry Arts Centre Grand Hall. It’s the fifth annual fundraiser hosted by the Historic Frenchtown Association (HFA). Paris says the organization is new at this compared to the dozens of St.Charles groups that host fundraisers throughout the year “so why not try something new?” “Our specific goal this year is to increase attendance to unprecedented levels, and focus greater importance on our donors, heretofore unheard of in local event sponsorship.” Paris says their approach has already proved successful. “The buzz is growing quickly. We’ve launched our own web page – – giving us a broader appeal, and we’re even offering online ticket purchases through Pay Pal”. The site was professionally designed by Lee Allen Advertising, and is being hosted by The Snap Group, both located in St.Charles. “It’s amazing how quickly word gets around that ‘the King’s Ball is the place to be’ when people get on the internet and start sharing the website and emails with their friends and co-workers.” The web page is shared with the St.Charles Jaycees to promote their subsequent event - the “family friendly” Frenchtown Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 10th. “We’re hopeful the Jaycees will also see the benefit of increased awareness.”

Paris says it’s not enough to just get people talking, the HFA is committed to providing the best possible party for their ticket holders, thus their catchphrase This is Not Your Father’s Fundraiser. “Hey, we’re Frenchtown after all!” “And we’d like to host something that is so memorable our party guests start looking forward to next year as they leave that night” says Paris. It starts with the room. “The Foundry’s Grand Hall is already grand, but it’s going to be dramatic on Friday the 9th.” Technical production of the King’s Ball is being provided by nationally acclaimed TPI Events, featuring Disney patented technology.  Happy Hour starts at 6:30, followed by a French Cajun Feast at 7:30. The Frenchtown King and Queen and their Royal Court will be crowned following dinner, and then, Paris says, “The Frenchtown King and Queen and their Royal Court will be crowned following dinner, and then, Paris says, “We bring it up a notch or two”. “Bone Daddy and the Blues Shakers is the St.Louis area’s premier Mardi Gras band; we’re happy to have been able to book them for this event.” The band is participating in the Soulard Mardi Gras parade the following weekend with their own float – a giant pirate ship. Paris says “I expect that many of our guests that night will be dressed as Mardi Gras Pirates.” Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes, otherwise the attire is “formal.”
In years past, the proceeds from this event have helped fund many improvements in the Frenchtown Historic District including tree planting, new historic markers, decorative stop signs, bike racks, neighborhood clean-ups, park benches and community involvement events.  The street lighting project continues to progress into 2007 and boundary markers will soon mark the corners of the Historic District. HFA President Stephanie Troesser says “our organization is accomplishing one goal after another thanks to our many visitors, volunteers, and supporters.” And, she adds, “we hope to see all of them at the Frenchtown King’s Ball in two weeks.
For more information on the Frenchtown King’s Ball and the Jaycees “Family Friendly” Mardi Gras Parade visit their website or contact Kim Paris (HFA) at 636-699-7504 or Scott Tate (Jaycees) at 636-946-0633.