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Black and White Ball set for Feb. 23

This year marks 10th anniversary

Tom and Tracy Justice at the 2018 Black and White Ball.
Tom and Tracy Justice at the 2018 Black and White Ball.

OTTAWA — This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Black and White Ball, which is anticipated to be the most successful one to date. For the second year, ONYX will partner with SRRC and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce once again plays a vital role in the event’s success.

Ten years ago, the Ottawa Business Builders Group, an Ottawa Chamber leads group, started planning “an adult prom” that would be both a fundraiser and a networking event. Over the years, the event has brought in more than $200,000 for Starved Rock Regional Center for Therapy & Child Development (formerly Easter Seals LBC) and continues to grow each year.

Several Ottawa chamber members sitting around a table in 2007 made this event a reality in 2008 when the first-ever Black and White Ball was held.

Cherie Reynolds and Tami-Thomas Leonatti dedicated themselves to running it for several years thereafter and handed over a successful fundraiser to SRRC in 2015. The event continued to grow from there and today is SRRC’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The theme for this year’s event is Masquerade Ball and will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Celebrations 150 in Utica.

The goal is to reach $50,000 and more than 250 guests are expected to attend this elegant affair, which includes dinner by Chef Charlie, dancing, a complimentary martini bar sponsored by TCI Manufacturing, music by Music Suite 408 and DJ Jay Roach, and photos by Annette Barr. It will feature a live auction presented by Matthew Bullock, raffles, silent auctions, an introduction of the 2019 ambassadors, Jack and Oliver Kinkin, and a visit from several former ambassadors from years past.

“We look forward to a new venue, a new decade and continued growth and success for this important fundraiser,” said Tracy Beattie, president and CEO of SRRC. “This year is so special as we are inviting back all previous ambassadors so they can personally thank our supporters in person for helping them soar to potential. It is going to be a spectacular year.”

The event will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are $100 each and table packages and sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Jennifer Kirkman at 815-434-0857 or email her at

SRRC is a non-profit agency that serves more than 500 children per year. Services include speech, occupational and developmental therapy to children throughout the Starved Rock area; a child care center for children with and without special needs located in Ottawa, and toddler classes in Ottawa. For more information, visit

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