Friday, June 13, 2003

Low interest forces Butler Co. ball to be canceled



By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - Sluggish ticket sales have caused the cancellation of Butler County's Bicentennial Ball, which was scheduled for Saturday at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

Only 17 of 200 available tickets were sold for the ball, which was supposed to be one of the grandest events celebrating the county's 200th birthday this year, said Rhonda Freeze, bicentennial coordinator.

She attributed the lack of interest in the Bicentennial Ball to vacations and the outdoor activities families are immersed in during June.

"This time of year, a lot of us are thinking about warm-weather activities in our back yards versus dressing in formal attire," Freeze said.

Those who bought tickets received refunds in the mail this week. Tickets had cost $50 a person and $100 per couple. The cost included cocktails, dinner and dancing. People were being encouraged to wear period costumes.

Proceeds from the event - which had been expected to be close to $10,000 - would have helped finance a Butler County history documentary on CD-ROM that would have been made available to local schools in September.

Project threatened

This documentary, called the Legacy Project, is in jeopardy, Freeze said.

"The biggest portion of the funding was going to be from the Bicentennial Ball," she said.

The Bicentennial Committee might reschedule the Bicentennial Ball for later this year, possibly in December, Freeze said.

"Perhaps we could make the ball the spectacular closing event of our bicentennial year," she said.

E-mail skemme@enquirer.com




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