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Article Specs

VxAcct: 50854

Article ID: 9801

Section: festivals

Age Group: Adult

Posted: June 19th. 2005

Views: 19412

Persephone's Masquerade: The 4th Annual OHF Spring Ball

by Shea Thomas

[WVox Sponsor]

Filling a 5, 000 square-foot ballroom to capacity, more than 140 Pagans came to a formal Pagan masquerade and charity gala on Friday, May 20 in Silver Spring, Maryland. In masks and amazing dress, creatures of both summer and shadow could be found dancing, dining, and generously donating in support of a great community cause.

It was called Persephone's Masquerade, and by the end of the evening, no less than $5, 000 had been raised to help create an open and dedicated Pagan community center in the Washington, DC region.

With a three-course dinner, dancing, live music, floor shows, a cash bar, auctions, raffles, and dozens of area Pagans in formal evening wear, the 2005 Ball was the largest and most successful fundraiser yet in the six-year history of The Open Hearth Foundation (OHF) - a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Pagan community center initiative serving the capital region.

So successful, in fact, that the masquerade managed to advance the overall operating budget of the DC Pagan Community Center Project a full 20% in just one evening.

Supported by nine different organizations, countless auction and raffle donors, and an army of community-minded volunteers, Persephone's Masquerade was the 4th in a series of annual charity galas coordinated by the OHF since 2001.

And continuing a tradition of sophistication which has helped make the Spring Ball a highpoint of the local Pagan social calendar, this year's event was also held for the first time at the Silver Spring Hilton – a choice which proved as popular with the hotel as it did with the attendees, with hotel staff reportedly abuzz about all the great costumes they saw, and already asking if they could host the event again.

The OHF would like to offer heartfelt thanks to those who helped make the 2005 Spring Ball possible, including our two performance acts, who not only donated their time, but also their tremendous energy and talent to create a truly memorable evening.

Making an encore performance from last year's Ball, Gene Pool Zombie again took the stage with their unique brand of rhythm, rock, and Motown blues. Also returning from the very first Spring Ball was Martiya Possession, an avant-garde gothic bellydance ensemble that provided an amazing dinner-time floor show.

Special thanks are also due the DC Radical Faeries, who hosted a mask-making workshop prior to the event and then donated several of these beautiful handcrafted masks back to the masquerade. Thanks also go to our cooperative event partners, Midnight at the Meeting Place, and the Chesapeake Pagan Community, who graciously offered discounts at their own events the following day to those who also attended the Spring Ball.

And a final thank-you goes to the half-dozen local groups and organizations that sponsored group tables at the masquerade and together helped make it the largest and best-attended Ball ever:
  • 13 Moons
  • Becoming: A Sacred Gathering
  • Circle of the Crystal Grove
  • Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca Temple of the Sacred Arts
  • The DC Radical Faeries
  • Wild Honey Protogrove, ADF
Additional pictures from the Spring Ball can be found in the OHF photo gallery. For more about the next Ball as well as other community events hosted each year by The Open Hearth Foundation please see:

The Open Hearth Foundation, Inc.
Gene Pool Zombie
Martiya Possession
Midnight At The Meeting Place
Chesapeake Pagan Community
13 Moons
Becoming: A Sacred Gathering
Circle of the Crystal Grove
Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca Temple of the Sacred Arts
The DC Radical Faeries
Wild Honey Protogrove, ADF


Shea Thomas

Location: Madison, Wisconsin


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