By Robert Lucke
It all started when groups from the VFW, American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary realized a couple of things. First, they had long wanted to resurrect the traditional Havre military balls that had gone by the wayside around 1992. And they realized there were many volunteers in the community who were never recognized for their efforts.
Thus was born the annual Community Appreciation and Military Ball.
Ron Wolford is the head of this year's ball committee.
"Every year there is a special theme for the ball," Wolford said. "This year the theme is Heroes Among Us.'"
One of the first things the ball committee does is to transform the back ballroom of the VFW Club in Havre into something spectacular, Wolford said. The decorations are secret each year until the night of the ball.
This year's ball is slated for Jan. 19. At 5:30 that evening there will be a no-host cocktail hour followed by a champagne and prime rib dinner with all the trimmings at 6:30.
And another secret. There is a secret dessert being prepared just for this occasion. After that, Lance Newman from KOJM will emcee the award portion of the evening. Later, South Country will provide dance music for the ball.
"One of the nicest parts of the evening is always that the civilians of the community get the opportunity to mingle with those active and retired military from this part of Montana," Wolford said. "Most of the military are in their uniforms and it is impressive."
Ball officials are expecting about 150 in attendance this year. Most important of all, Wolford said, is that the good neighbors in the community need to nominate their neighbors who do good deeds without recognition.
There is a short nomination form that can be picked up at the VFW Club. All nominees will get an award from the VFW, and special awards from the person or group making the nomination are welcome as well.
"We just know that there are a lot of unrecognized volunteers in the community," Wolford said.
Ball tickets are available at the VFW Club. They are priced at $15 per person or $25 for couples.
If you have an idea about a good neighbor who should be nominated for this award, contact the VFW at 265-9965 or Wolford at 265-3213.