Disco Ball benefit begins to build a following

Elissa Harbert

The Disco Ball orchestra, which brings together members of Lawrence&s jazz and classical music ensembles, rehearses to turn up the &Canned Heat& for Habitat for Humanity&s dance and fundraiser. (Sandi Schwert)

Time to dig out the bell-bottoms and goldfish platforms! Lawrence’s Habitat for Humanity chapter will host their second Disco Ball Saturday, Oct. 12.The ball will be held from 8-11 p.m. in the Buchanan-Kiewit Recreation Center.

At the ball, Habitat for Humanity will raffle off two tickets to a Green Bay Packers game. The game will be Nov. 4 against Miami.

There will also be dance and costume contests, as well as a Bacchus Bar.

Planning for this event began last spring. Habitat co-presidents Jessica Rosenthal and David Drewek, as well as Megan Unger, Brian Hilgeman, Kim Anderson, and Naomi Kalies, have planned and organized almost all aspects of the event, with the help of adviser Curt Lauderdale.

The first Disco Ball was held two years ago, but the event did not take place last year.

“It was a successful fundraiser two years ago, and we knew a disco would be something the Lawrence community would enjoy,” said Jessica Rosenthal, who is very happy to bring the Disco Ball back.

Jared Thomas and Mike Lee, senior music majors, adopted the project of transcribing and arranging disco music for the orchestra.

“Disco has the ability to bring people together,” Thomas mused. “It’s a blast from the past. I think it’s under-appreciated in this day and age.”

While Thomas and Lee worked together on the project, Lee insists he did all the work, joking, “It would have been easier if Jared hadn’t made me write all the music and given me no credit!”

In any case, Thomas and Lee take pride in the music the orchestra will perform Saturday night.

Rosenthal is very appreciative of their efforts as well, saying she is “glad to use some of the amazing talent in the Con to help support this worthy cause.”

Jonathon Roberts will emcee the ball, and DJ Dave Maloney will play music before and after the disco orchestra performs.

Heid Music and The Big Noise are lending the orchestra some instruments “so we can make smooth disco music,” said Thomas.

Lawrence Symphony Orchestra conductor Bridget-Michaele Reischl will conduct the disco orchestra.

“I think this is a particularly impressive fundraiser,” Reischl said, adding that she hopes this year’s ball will be as much fun as it was two years ago.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, non-denominational Christian organization that works to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for those in need.

Volunteers help build the houses, working on foundation building, siding, roofing and so on. “Basically,” explained Habitat member Valeska Okragly, “we build the houses top to bottom.”

Most of the proceeds of this ball will go toward sending Lawrence’s Habitat chapter to Collegiate Challenge, an alternative spring break uniting many college Habitat groups.

Habitat for Humanity meetings are held Sundays at 7 p.m. in the Sage basement. New members are always welcome.

Tickets for the Disco Ball will be available at Downer during lunch and dinner all week, as well as at the door. Tickets are $3 for Lawrence students and seniors and $5 for general admission.