"This year is our 29th annual [Ways & Means Dance]," said Stephanie Johnson, who is serving as the event's co-chairman along with Sharon Hayhurst. "This will be the second year that [our] theme [has been] Cocktails for a Cause [and the dance has been held] at the Clarence Brown Conference Center.
"We're switching up [some] things this year. We're going to have a live band, and we're also going to add in a casino. ... This is our biggest fundraiser that we do all year long. With just this fundraiser, we gave out over $33,000 ... to local children's charities."
Proceeds from the Ways & Means Dance will be combined with funds generated from two rummage sales and a poinsettia sale, with the total amount to be dispersed to area nonprofits. Some of this year's recipients will include Advocates for Children, Boys & Girls Clubs, Bartow County Women's Resource Center Inc. and The Etowah Scholarship Foundation.
During its last fundraising cycle, the CSL distributed a total of $60,000 among more than 30 organizations in March. The recipients included Action Ministries Inc., Advocates for Children, Autism in Bartow, Bartow Christmas, Bartow Collaborative, Bartow County/Cartersville Special Olympics, Bartow County 4-H Club, Bartow County Public Library, Bartow County Teacher Grant Program, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow County Women's Resource Center, Bartow Give a Kid a Chance, Cartersville School Foundation, Cartersville Special Education, Cartersville School Foundation -- GateKey, Cartersville City Schools -- Backpack Buddies, The Etowah Scholarship Foundation, The Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, Hands of Christ, Joshua Brown Foundation, Juvenile Court -- Bartow County, Least of These, New Beginnings Food Outreach, Oakland Heights Angel Ministry, Tranquility House, Steps of Faith, Bartow History Museum, Cartersville Little League, Living Tree Memorial Walk and Bartow Health Access.
The CSL currently is comprised of about 34 Bartow County women, who serve six-year terms and volunteer more than 40 hours per year in the community.
"The organizations that we donate money to mainly are children's organizations," Hayhurst said. "And not only donating monies, but we also donate our time throughout the year as [well]."
Along with tutoring children at the Boys & Girls Club's Cartersville Unit and Hands of Christ programs, some of their volunteer efforts include conducting hearing and vision screenings for kindergarten students in the Bartow County School System; distributing weekend meals to Flowering Branch Children's shelter residents; and volunteering with the Special Olympics Committee in Bartow County. They also provide area children with school supplies, gifts and necessities throughout the year.
Tickets to Cocktails for a Cause can be purchased in advance for $60 and at the door for $65. No one younger than 21 will be admitted to the fundraiser and attire will be cocktail casual. Sponsorships still are available, with donation levels ranging from $200 to $1,000.
For more information about the Service League fundraiser, visit www.cartersvilleserviceleague.com or call Hayhurst, 770-548-6020, or Johnson, 770-363-4424.