Fundraiser masquerades as circus spectacle

Mountain of Hope gala Saturday, February 23rd

Dress in your best disguise and prepare to be amazed at Masked, a 19+ whimsical circus Mountain Of Hope is ring-leading that will include fire eating and fundraising for your Valley neighbours who are in need.

Guests can adorn their faces with anything from traditional Mardi Gras masks to fire department headgear, clown makeup or the craziest face-painting they can dream up, said organizer Richard Matthews, who plans to attend in a Viking-themed disguise.

As guests mingle, enjoy appetizers and check out the silent and live auction items at the Cliffhanger Restaurant at Greywolf Golf Course on Saturday, February 23rd, they will be treated to striking pop-up shows throughout the evening.

“You’ll look over and all of a sudden there’s a stilt walker and then … you’ll look out 20 minutes later and they’ll be fire throwing, fire eating on the deck and then all of a sudden silks will come down from the ceiling and there will be silk acrobatics,” Mr. Matthews said.

It will be as if guests are part of the show themselves, he said, because they’ll be spectacularly costumed and the show will happen all around them, immersing them in the experience.

“It’s obviously going to be something new, interesting and a different energy that’s ever been done in town,” Mr. Matthews said, adding that since there are so many community fundraisers Mountain Of Hope is shifting away from hosting galas and toward throwing unforgettable parties.

Don’t have a mask? No problem. Mountain Of Hope will have masks for sale at the door, and Fire Vixen Tattoos is donating proceeds from those who book appointments for custom face-painting.

Just like the guests who will be unrecognizable with their faces obscured, the people Mountain Of Hope supports are also “100 per cent anonymous,” Mr. Matthews said.

“A lot of people ask us ‘well who are the people that you help?’” He doesn’t give anything away. All he will tell them is: “whether they’re friends or family, they’re all around you and they’re all a part of the community.”

They may be single mothers who need help to buy groceries. They may be residents fighting cancer. They may be families that can’t afford hearing aids for their children. But whoever those masked folks are, he said, every cent raised goes directly to support “people in our community that are in a time of desperation and need.”

Tickets for Masked are $50 and are available online at mountainofhopesociety.ca. To ensure everyone has a safe ride home, especially guests with masks that block their eyes, transportation is available between Invermere and Panorama.

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