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Another View: Community effort made ball a success

By: Rosie Mietzel, guest columnist
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I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank everyone who was at Auburn’s Black & White Ball on Aug. 16. Whether you were a first-time visitor, returning guest, sponsor, volunteer, restaurant server, committee chair or team member, Chamber of Commerce staff, law enforcement, bartender, decorator, band member, sound or lighting professional, electrician, paramedic, security, hospitality host, ticket taker, banking personnel, city employee or janitorial member, each of you had a role in the success of Auburn’s Black & White Ball. After months of pre-planning with the Downtown Business Association and the City of Auburn, a small army begins working together as a unified team to produce this magnificent event — all in one day! It truly is a superhuman feat to create what we do in a very tiny window of time. To see business members and citizens of Auburn working side by side throughout the day and night establishes a feeling of pride in our community, as we showcase our city in a unique way. The teamwork and effort shown by everyone is what makes this event so successful. For a few brief hours the streets of Auburn come alive with revelers enjoying what we have created — “Hollywood — You Ought To Be In Pictures” — the food, music, socializing — it’s all part of Auburn’s Black & White Ball. Six-thousand people come out to visit and enjoy each other in this “celebration of Auburn,” to come and dance on the streets of downtown. Then at 1:30 a.m., the unseen heroes of the ball literally work all night removing everything from the streets and cleaning them up so Auburn is back to normal and glistening by 8 a.m. Sunday. The magic created when we showcase the streets of downtown Auburn with special lighting and decorations creates a unique experience rarely found anywhere else. Many local businesses benefit as our suppliers and vendors — Palco Digi-Printing, the Auburn Journal, The Sentinel, Uptown Signs, Holiday Inn, Best Western Golden Key, Timberline Signs, Dancing Dog Productions, Liquor Outlet, Ffrog’s Embroidery, All About Design and Classic Image Studios. Other downtown businesses and restaurants also participate, including Marilyn’s Fashion-a-tions, Simply Striking, Citizens Bank of Northern California, 3 Brothers and a Mudda, Pasquale T’s, CandyScapes, Depoe Bay, Monkey Cat, Club Car, Capps Group, Union Bank and Roper’s Jewelers. With sponsorships at a record high, many businesses saw value in participating and having our jolly rabbits in their storefronts, and joined us at the Sponsor Preview Party and at the ball. The income generated from Auburn’s Black & White Ball helps the chamber sustain many other events enjoyed by the citizens of Auburn, including the Festival of Lights holiday parade and Auburn’s Family 4th of July celebration. Charitable organizations that receive donations directly from Auburn’s Black & White Ball include The Auburn Boys & Girls Club, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospice, Auburn 49’er Lions Club, Auburn Performing Arts Center and Raley’s Food For Families program. Hundreds of people volunteer literally thousands of manhours to make this event happen — not for their own benefit — but for the benefit of Auburn. Our expanded media coverage included Channel 10 TV’s “Sacramento & Company” morning talk show, allowing us an opportunity to showcase Auburn to thousands of viewers.  A special thanks to Police Chief Valerie Harris, Lt. Scott Burns and Sgt. Dave Lawicka for the wonderful coordination of our local law enforcement agencies. I would like to give special recognition to Bruce Cosgrove, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, for his untiring effort and belief in this event. Every night of ball week, lights were burning in the chamber office until midnight with Bruce taking care of the minute details, reviewing the critical timeline and making sure nothing slipped through the cracks. We reminded ourselves many, many times through bleary, bloodshot eyes at 5:30 a.m. Sunday as we removed stages, generators, motorhomes and golf carts that “fun like this comes along once in a lifetime — that’s why we do it every year!” See you in 2009 at Auburn’s next Black & White Ball! Rosie Mietzel was chairwoman of the 2008 Black & White Ball