LUMOS Yule Ball enchants campus, sells out in minutes

Abby Schubach

The first annual Yule Ball, hosted by the Lawrence University Magical Organization of Students, is set to take place Feb. 17, with dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. and the concert starting at 8:00 p.m.

The Yule Ball, based off of the major wizarding event in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” will incorporate a holiday and winter theme while adding Harry Potter elements such as a short lecture on the series by Associate Professor of History Edmund Kern, butterbeer and a traditional waltz.

Founder of LUMOS junior Will Doreza emphasized that the ball has two purposes, “first to provide a themed formal event for everyone on campus. Second, to make a philanthropic contribution with the proceeds.” The organization’s designated charity, named KidsGive, will be benefitted through the Students’ War Against Hunger and Poverty.

LUMOS is a recognized chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, which seeks to align its philanthropic mission with themes in the Harry Potter series in order to benefit such charities as KidsGive.

The first round of tickets went on sale online at 12:00 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 30, and proceeded to sell out in three minutes and 41 seconds. This came as a shock to many, including Doreza, but was not completely unexpected: “I had guessed that we would sell out in a few hours,” admitted Doreza. “And I’m pretty optimistic.”

Doreza contributes this success to effective advertising, which consisted of posters, including a large poster at the entrance of the Warch Campus Center, an e-mail to LUMOS members and a Facebook event.

At first, LUMOS arranged for only 100 tickets to be sold for a number of reasons: according to Doreza, the club felt this proposal was realistic, based on the amount of funding they had already received. They underestimated the number of students who would relinquish a meal swipe or culinary cash for such an event.

After receiving additional funds from the Lawrence University Community Council, LUMOS began the second round of ticket sales last Monday at 12:00 a.m. The extra forty-one tickets sold out in only seven minutes and 10 seconds.

The ball is open to any non-ticket holder of the Lawrence community after 8:00 p.m. for dancing and live music, as long as they adhere to the suggested black tie attire guideline. Doreza explained that the hosts will “not permit people wearing jeans, street shoes or t-shirts.”

From hors d’oeuvres such as stuffed mushrooms and vol-au-vent, to a three-course meal — including a salad, entrée and dessert — the dinner will be catered by Bon Appétit.

A selection of student bands playing will include Spaceship Pizza, Porky’s Groove Machine, Dome, Mike Pope and the Papal Schism, and Shoulders.

The members of SWAHP, a Lawrence University student-led group, will give a presentation at the ball, as will Kern, who has published multiple books and given talks all over the country examining Rowling’s seven best-selling novels. Since joining the history department in 1992, Kern has been teaching the popular course Religion, Magic and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe.

According to Doreza, “Part of the planning process has been watching the Yule Ball scene in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ and basing the decoration scheme off of the movie.” The anticipated blue and silver decorated ball will be held in the Mead Witter, Esch and Hurvis rooms on the second floor of the Warch Campus Center.

Sophomore Cori Lin embodied the Harry Potter spirit on campus when she proclaimed, “I love Harry Potter so much I don’t think I would be able to forgive myself if I didn’t attend the first ever LUMOS Yule Ball.”

Lin gave male attendees some Yule Ball preparation advice: “Just re-sew your tux into a cape; it’s not that hard!”