The Arc of St. Charles will once again host its Mardi Gras Ball on Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edward Dufresne Community Center, located at 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway in Luling.
Arc of St. Charles CFO Maggie Brantley said each year the parish’s recreation department partners with the Arc to host the event for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in St. Charles Parish.
“Each year we invite all of our clients and all of the other non-profits in the parish who work with people with special needs to come to the Mardi Gras celebration,” Brantley said. “We have a second line, cake walk, a shoebox floats contest, karaoke, and dancing. Clients are also able to vote on a king and queen and duke and princess that day. It’s a lot of fun.”
Brantley said Hahnville High School band director Eric Gueniot and his students come and provide the second line band each year, and that the event couldn’t take place without continued support from the community.
Community support is also crucial to the success of the Arc’s Throw Me Something Mister Store, Brantley added. The store was originally located in Luling but is now at 36 Apple Street in Norco. The store was started as a bead recycling program in 2009 to expand job opportunities for Arc of St. Charles clients.
“Individuals with special needs acquire important job training skills as they organize and package donated Mardi Gras beads for resale,” Brantley said. “Many of these beads are purchased in 30-pound sacks to be used in local parades. This year the store sold out in record time, and the donations of beads helps secure paid jobs for with individuals with special needs in our community.”
For more information on the Arc of St. Charles’ Mardi Gras Ball, contact Candace Meyer at 985-785-0971, ext. 4826. Formal attire is requested for this year’s event.