The Rick Rackers, an auxiliary of the Assistance League of Long Beach, plans to provide 7,000 children with school uniforms this year, and the organization’s volunteers are planning their main fundraiser.
The annual Rick Rackers Ball — Ship to Shore Soiree — will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 aboard the Queen Mary. Tickets, which help to raise money for the Operation School Bell program that provides uniforms to students in the Long Beach Unified School District, are $130 per person or $250 per couple and include hors d’oeuvres, dinner, live music and dancing with opportunity drawings and a silent auction.
The 1930s themed event will take place in the Royal Salon located on the ship’s Promenade Deck. Businesses can help sponsor this year’s ball with in-kind donations or by underwriting a portion of the event.
“This is our major fundraiser of the year,” said Shannon Cofell, chairman of Rick Rackers. “Our dedicated members are women within the greater Long Beach community who spend hours donating their time, effort and resources to children who desperately need new school uniforms, backpacks and supplies – items that many of us can easily provide for our own families. We hope the community will support our efforts by purchasing a ticket and attending the ball.”
In keeping with the ship’s Art Deco elegance, guests are encouraged to dress in 1930s garb; however, black-tie is optional. In addition, modern-day passengers will receive a crash-course in swing dancing as the Jumpin’ Joz Swing Band takes to the stage with lively tunes from the era. Adding a bit of verve to the evening will be students from Poly High School who will assume the roles of 1930s paparazzi and candy girls as guests are transported back to the ship’s sailing days.
For tickets and information, call 627-5650. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ALLB.org.
The Assistance League has provided thousands of uniforms to LBUSD students since the inception of the school uniform program here.
“Other school district superintendents often ask how we managed to establish and continue our nationally recognized uniform policy,” said LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser. “I tell them that the Assistance League of Long Beach and Operation School Bell are key to our success. Our students are so excited when they come to school ready to learn in their new school uniforms. Thank you, Assistance League."