JOLIET – Leave it to a group of women doing good deeds to create an event that gives witches some time off for good-natured fun.
But that’s exactly what’s bubbling in the cauldron for two witch-related events for charity.
After five years of scaring up fun and funds for area women’s groups with the grassroots event Witches Night Out, organizers are partnering with the Joliet Junior Woman’s Club. The club is hosting its Witches Ball.
Both events will be at the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate in Joliet. Witches Night Out is Oct. 22 and the Witches Ball is Oct. 23. Both groups are helping to market each other’s event.
Both events are packed with more charming features than you can shake a wand at. The best part is proceeds from both events will be donated to local charities that help women in need.
“That’s the magic behind both nights,” Mihelich said.
Chrissy Monaco, an organizer and chairwoman for the Joliet Junior Woman’s Club and the Witches Ball, said the organizers of Witches Night Out suggested partnering with them by hosting a fundraiser on the same weekend.
“I’m really excited about it,” Monaco said. “Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I know a lot of women feel the same way. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Junior Woman’s Club is an international organization which helps women and children in need through a variety of events and outreach programs.
By the same supernatural token, Witches Night Out is not only a “great girls’ night out,” it’s also a popular fundraiser for women in need, said Kathy Mihelich, co-chair of WNO, a grassroots outreach coordinated by women in the community.
Proceeds from Witches Night Out will benefit Lamb’s Fold Women’s Center, Stepping Stones Treatment and Recovery Center, Guardian Angel Community Services and Will County Habitat for Humanity. “Hopefully, we’ll both be able to provide a lot of great entertainment and raise a lot of money to help a lot of area women for many years to come,” Mihelich added.
A news release from WNO said more than 1,250 women attended the event last year, dressed as everything from good witches to bad witches. In all, a record $28,000 was raised to help local women.
The Joliet Junior Woman’s Club is hoping the Witches Ball is equally as enchanting.
“This fundraiser is so important because we only do one a year, so it determines how much we have to help others,” Monaco said.
The Junior Woman’s Club has an extensive history of helping others for the betterment of society, Monaco said.
“By the 1930s, club women were responsible for maintaining 80 percent of the nation’s libraries,” Monaco said. “They were integral in getting street lights installed in cities throughout the country. They helped to push legislators to place the lines in the middle of roads for safety.”
As for changing Joliet for the better, the Joliet Junior Woman’s Club meets once a month to plan different service programs in the area, Monaco said.
One of those programs, and the group’s only fundraiser of the year, is the Witches Ball.
“We’re hoping to capture the same magic that the Witches Night Out has for the last five years,” Monaco said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Witches Ball and Witches Night Out
WHEN: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 22 (Witches Night Out) and 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 23 (Witches Ball)
WHERE: Jacob Henry Mansion Ballroom, 20 S. Eastern Ave., Joliet
ETC: Witches Night Out features raffles, vendors, costume contest, DJ. Witches Ball ticket price includes heavy appetizers, one drink ticket (cash bar available) and a live band, “The Walk-ins.”
TICKETS: $20 in advance and $25 at the door for Thursday’s event; $45 for Friday’s.