The Pilot Club of New Albany’s annual Snowflake Ball has grown tremendously in a decade and, as someone who has covered it several times in the past few years for the New Albany Gazette, I’m glad to see its continued success.

The event was created in 2010 as a chance for Union County fathers to spend an evening with their daughters from the age of four up through those in the 5th grade. The evening includes dinner, dancing, crafts for the girls, as well as a raffle. This year BancorpSouth donated $200 to help the club purchase bikes for the raffle. Volunteers for the event include Pilot Club members, as well as members of the local high school’s Anchor Clubs.

The venue for the event has changed at least three times over the years, all due to an increased interest in the event. It has been held at the First United Methodist Church, the First Baptist Church and the past two years has moved again to the New Albany Elementary School Cafeteria and gymnasium. Approximately 650 people were in attendance this year, according to club members.

While the event was created with the name Father/Daughter Snowflake Ball, the “Father/Daughter” part has been dropped in recent years. This decision was made because Pilot Club members understood that not only were fathers bringing their daughters, but so were grandfathers, uncles and other male guardians. In addition, many of these fathers or father figures bring not just one, but two or sometimes three or more girls in one family.

The Snowflake Ball has become the Pilot Club’s largest fundraiser each year and it is a worthy one. The club has used funds from this event to raise awareness about such diseases as dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition, these funds have helped the club to aid the Union County Sheriff’s Department in purchasing and handing out equipment for Project Lifesaver, an important program that helps law enforcement locate persons with special needs or dementia who have gone missing.

The Snowflake Ball’s beginning almost coincided with the launch of the New Albany Gazette’s own New Albany Magazine. Every year since it was created in 2011, the magazine has included photos of people at local events, including the Snowflake Ball. This year will be no different.

In the meantime, look for a page of photos from the event on page 5A of this issue.

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