By Kurt Barrett
Your Voice Contributor
On the evening of Feb.Â 8 from 6-9 p.m. at the Ice House, the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies will be hosting a gala that is truly unique to Louisville.Â This event, the Capes & Crowns Gala, does not just benefit kids, it includes kids.Â This one-of-a kind ball is the product of the 2013 Yum! IGNITES Louisville Challenge, the community service component of Leadership Louisvilleâ€™s Ignite Louisville program.Â As one of the creators of this event, I have been blessed to learn what it takes to work as part of a team of young professionals to benefit a fantastic organization in the Louisville Community.
In late 2012, my Ignite Louisville team accepted the challenge to work with the Kids Center to promote the Center in the community by building awareness and engagement.Â The Kids Center, like other not-for-profits, works hard to make connections within the community to grow their network. It was the Ignite team that developed the concept of an event that would not only create a fun night out for the Kids Centerâ€™s clients, staff and families, but would also cater to young adults and families outside of the Center. The result: a family friendly gala that attracted over 200 people and multiple corporate sponsors in early 2013. Now, one year later, my team is still together as part of an ever growing group of active volunteers working to not only build upon the legacy of the Capes and Crowns Gala, but to also help support the Centerâ€™s other fundraising efforts.
The mission of the Kids Center is to involve, in a meaningful way, children with developmental needs and members of their families in mainstream society.Â By being a family-friendly gala, adults have the opportunity to teach children what it means to give back to the community. In addition, it helps the kids from the Center to experience a party that celebrates their accomplishments as the super heroes and princesses they truly are.Â Kids and adults can dress up as their favorite super hero or prince or princess. What a fun way to witness the blossoming ability in disability.Â The event includes a DJ, hair styling and make up for the kids, food and beverages, games for all ages, a dance contest and a photo booth.
As a parent, I am delighted that my experiences with Leadership Louisville and the Kids Center have hit so close to my home life. It has given me a chance to show my children how much fun it can be to help support others within our community. If you are a young adult who would like to get involved in an entertaining and rewarding endeavor, or if you have young ones you would like to teach the meaning of giving back to the community, this is a great place to start. The Capes & Crowns Gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 6-9 p.m. at the Ice House, a premier event venue in downtown Louisville.Â Tickets are $50 per adult and $20 per child (ages 3 and older).Â Tickets may be purchased by visiting the Kids Centerâ€™s website atÂ www.kidscenterky.org.
If you cannot attend the event yourself but want to be involved, the Center is seeking sponsors and silent auction items. The website also provides the opportunity for donors to purchase an adult/child combination ticket at a reduced price for clients of the Center who cannot afford to attend the Gala without support from others. We hope you will be a part of this special event.
Kurt Barrett is a graduate of Purdue Universityâ€™s School of Engineering and works as the Intelligent Services Program Leader at Harshaw Trane, a Louisville based energy services company. He is a graduate of the 2013 Ignite Louisville class and a member of the Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies Board of Young Professionals. Â