On the night of Feb. 2, the Del’avant Event Center will transform into a traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras festival to benefit Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services.
The event, titled “Behind the Mask,” will feature a traditional New Orleans dinner buffet with the “Mudcats,” an Atlanta-based band, providing live music.
“One of the reasons that we wanted to do this event is because we haven’t done a community-based event in the past few years and we thought it would be a perfect way to let people know what we are all about as we also raise some needed funds for the LaGrange programs,” said Lisa Wick, Twin Cedars grants and marketing coordinator.
Sheri Cody, the organization’s deputy director and director of program services, thought that the Mardi Gras theme, “Behind the Mask,” could represent three different messages.
“‘Behind the Mask’ is fun for the community, linking it to the Mardi Gras, but at the same time the event is planned to also remove the ‘mask’ of what Twin Cedars does in the community,” Cody said. “In addition, so many of our kids come into us wearing a ‘mask’ to hide the pain and abuse that they have endured, we work to make them feel safe enough to finally remove it.”
Twelve of the 24 programs that Twin Cedars offers are located in LaGrange. Programs the organization offers includes residential services that gives kids temporary housing to remove them from potentially dangerous situations; a community mental health program tailored to children, adolescents, and their families; underage drinking prevention programs, complete forensic interviews for suspected sexually abused children and adults; a summer program for disadvantaged children at Camp Viola; and Circle of Care, which focuses on assisting teen mothers to learn how to raise and provide for their babies.
Local artists have designed Mardi Gras masks to represent the 12 LaGrange programs of Twin Cedars. During the event, a silent auction of the masks will raise additional funds.
“Here in LaGrange, through all of our programs, we touch thousands of kids in our community each year,” Cody said. “Our programs are designed to fit the needs of the community members.”
Wicker thanked LaGrange Grocery Company for being the event’s presenting sponsor, but said Twin Cedars still is looking for additional corporate sponsors.
The event is set for 7 to 11 p.m. and the attire is Mardi Gras casual with costumes optional. The cost for this event is $50 per ticket, or two for $95. The price of the ticket includes the New Orleans dinner buffet, live music and beverages, including wine, beer, coffee and tea. All of the profits from the evening will go directly back into the organization’s LaGrange programs.
Tickets are available online at www.twincedars.org, at Plum Southern in downtown LaGrange or by contacting Linda Moncrief at 706-298-5049.