Hundreds of smiles will fill the room at the Liberty Elks Lodge once again this Dec. 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. Volunteers are working diligently to host the annual Jingle Bell Ball for special needs individuals.
“This is our 14th year,” said Founder Margie Poole. “Our first year we had about 70 people attend and they had so much fun, so we decided to keep it up year after year.”
Poole spent a lot of time traveling around the state over the years trying to find fun activities for her daughter, Brookelyn, who is mentally challenged.
It was when Poole (Margie Powell at the time) joined the Elks Lodge and met Vernon Poole that the discussion of a local event happened and the idea of a Christmas party for special needs people of all ages was born.
“Each year we have approximately 230 participants who come from as far as San Antonio, Dallas, Huntsville, and all over,” said Poole. “Most are from Liberty, Chambers, and Harris counties.”
The Jingle Bell Ball is the greatest party for people who are mentally or physically challenged, according to Poole. Volunteer Tammie Wingfield agrees.
“I have volunteered for 12 years now, and I can already tell you that I’ll be there again in 2020,” said Wingfield. “Volunteering is a life changing experience. You offer a little bit of time and you will forever be touched.”
Participants look forward to the event all year long, according to Poole. They have the opportunity to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and receive a gift at the ball.
“They can come here and know they are loved and not feel different or out of place,” explained Poole. “This is their special night — just for them.”
Invitations to the ball were mailed out in October and registration is currently full for 2019, but individuals interested in participating can contact Poole to be put on the mailing list for next year.
For more information about the Jingle Bell Ball, follow the event page by searching “Jingle Bell Ball Liberty Elks” on Face-book.