Bobcat Blizzard Ball Brings the Snow and Good Service to Athens

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The Bobcat Blizzard Ball was an appropriate name for the snowy Friday, December 6th event in the Nelson Reception Area on Ohio University's campus. Students from across campus trudged through the snow to attend the ball that raised money for My Sister’s Place.

The organization Achievement Leadership Service Scholars (ALSS) sponsored the evening and wanted the ball to provide a fun time for students while also giving back to the local community in Athens.

For $10 a person or $20 for a couple, those who attended were treated to free hot chocolate and cake. With lights flashing and a DJ mixing music, students danced and relaxed before the most stressful week of the semester.

Attendees were encouraged to grab a pamphlet off the table located near the dance floor. The pamphlets had information about ALSS and the women’s center on campus.

The Ohio University organization, ALSS, was created last year to give students the opportunity to make a difference during their time in Athens by participating in community service.

Students are able to improve their leadership skills while also seeing that their work has made a difference in the Athens community.

The club creates events that will raise awareness about the different issues that are happening in Athens. All the money that they make from these events go directly to the community that the issue has affected.

President Karissa Jones explained how the club came to be, “It started off as a class project, raising money for ‘Race For a Reason.’ We ended up raising a lot more money than we ever expected. We realized that we were pretty good at it and should make something of it and do something for the community and give back.”         

Unfortunately, the weather did create some obstacles for this event. Guest speakers were unable to make it to campus because of the road conditions.

ALSS members were also afraid that people were not going to brave the cold for their event. Freshman Brandon Pane was trying his best to spread the word, “My friend is the president of ALSS, and I wanted to help make her event a success. I’ve been texting my friends and trying to get them to come because it’s a really good cause.”

As the night went on, Pane’s plan to gain more attention worked. More and more students were filing into the reception area with their group of friends.

Students were impressed with the organization’s event and had an overall great experience. Junior Courtney Sladoje was pleased to see all the support from those who came, “I’m just really happy that people came. My friend told me about the event, and when I heard that the money is being donated to My Sister’s Place, I really wanted to come.”

My Sister’s Place is a non-profit organization that gives shelter to women in Athens who are victims of domestic violence.  The website for the shelter gives women information on signs of abuse, their services, and contact information. My Sister’s Place has a 24-hour hotline, which gives these victims a person to talk to in a time of need.

ALSS President Jones was excited to plan the event because she has always been an advocate for community service, “I love community service, and I love giving back. It was just the way I was raised and knew that [ALSS] could really make a difference here.”

After all the stress and chaos, Jones was pleased with the Bobcat Blizzard Ball and hopes that she can continue to make progress within Athens in the future.