Giving Back

The Capital Area Community Action Agency hosts its Annual Masked Benefit Heart Ball.Fifth Annual Masked Benefit Ball

By Terri-Ann Morrison

On Saturday, March 3, Capital Area Community Action Agency hosts its 5th Annual Masked Benefit Ball to raise funds to support primary services that help low-income families throughout the Big Bend area. The ball will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Florida State University Center Ballroom. There will be a silent and live auction, a charity casino, gourmet food and a ballroom-dancing exhibition.

Joe Bullard, program director of Tallahassee radio station WHBX, 96.1 JAMZ, will be this year’s honorary grand marshal. Musical entertainment will be provided by Tallahassee’s own Starlight Rhythm and Blues band. The auctions will feature a variety of items, from artworks to gift certificates from local restaurants.

The Capital Area Community Action Agency, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1965 to provide child-care and transportation services to low-income residents of Leon County. Today, the agency serves six counties in addition to Leon: Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson and Liberty.

“We hope to bring more of an awareness to the need for affordable housing,” Casey said. “The cost of living has increased, but salaries have not. People are still in need.”

In 2006, the agency celebrated 41 years of helping Leon County’s low-income residents to overcome poverty and gain economic security. The Capital Area Community Action Agency’s major source of funding is provided by the federal Community Services Block Grant for emergency assistance, education, housing, jobs and small-business start-ups. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also is responsible for funding the agency’s utility assistance and comprehensive preschool services for low-income 3- and 4-year-olds who are in the nine Head Start centers in Leon, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

To continue receiving federal funds, the agency is required to provide a match of $1 (in-kind or cash) for every $4 received in federal funding. The Masked Benefit Ball has become the agency’s signature fundraiser to raise the matching monies needed to continue receive federal funding. For ticket information, call (850) 222-2043.

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