By: Carl Mize
There were a lot of “F” words being dropped at Centre Pointe’s penthouse Nov. 8, high above the streets of Greensboro.
However, it isn’t what you might think. It was the kick-off Sponsor’s Party for the annual Big Hair Ball presented by Greensboro’s Family Service of the Piedmont, and the words were fashion, fun and fundraising.
The Big Hair Ball has become one of the premier social events in Greensboro and has been presented annually since 2012.
Wednesday’s event was a chance for event organizers and sponsors to get together, socialize and discuss what is on the agenda for the 2018 extravaganza to be presented in January.
The venue, the ballroom atop the Centre Point building in downtown Greensboro, featured a sweeping panoramic view of life on the street below.
The idea originated as a fun and interesting way to raise funds for Family Service of the Piedmont. The first event was such a success, and it has continued for the past six years.
Young women in grades 10-12, who are members of the Junior Guild, compete for the highly coveted model spots by engaging in community service and volunteer work in the area.
The goal is that by the time they become seniors in high school, they will have achieved enough recognition through their work to be asked to model for the show.
However, model-type looks do not weigh into the final selection process.
In other words, even Gigi Hadid would not be able to strut down that runway unless she had done some good, somewhere along the line.
Once model slots are filled, that’s when the real work begins. Models are assigned to an area fashion designer (and in the interest of full disclosure, this writer was asked to participate this year), as well as a hair and make-up team. Their combined efforts are to descend on the model and, you guessed it, make it as big and over the top as possible. The hair, of course, but also the dress and make-up, to create as outrageous a look as only artsy, creative people can conjure up. Prizes are given for “Best Hair”, “Best Dress, etc. and since people in the fashion industry are known to have some of the biggest egos around, there is a lot of professional pride on the line. The theme for the Big Hair Ball is the circus, so you can only imagine what types of looks that this theme is going to inspire for this year’s show.
While the show is an exciting and enjoyable event, the Guild never loses sight of their primary focus.
Family Service of the Piedmont exists for the purpose of providing help and assistance to families experiencing crisis, counseling services for children and adults, battered women and an entire plethora of problems facing families in today’s society.
Lindsey Auman, who is past chairman of the Family Service Foundation Board and Honorary Chairman of this year’s ball, spoke eloquently of how she had sought the counseling services offered through Family Service of the Piedmont to help her deal with a personal trauma that had happened to her years earlier. She used this personal testimony to illustrate how important the agency is to the citizens of Greensboro.
Indira Lindsay Roberts, who chaired the ball in 2015, is also the current president of the Guild of Family Service. Her excitement and dedication to the cause are evident as she addressed the crowd at the kick-off event. “We should be doing now what the client needs next to advance their agenda,” Roberts said. Passion for helping others is a common theme that seems evident in the members of the organization. The Guild realize there are many challenges facing individuals and families today and through their combined work and efforts, they attempt to help solve those issues. Roberts is also the first African-American woman to serve in the capacity of president. This lends credence to the Guild’s enthusiasm in regard to becoming as diverse as possible and embracing all races and religions as they seek new volunteers to accomplish their mission.
Major sponsors this year include Woodruff Law and the Lenny Peters Foundation-Bethany Medical Center. This year’s presenting sponsor is Greensboro commercial real estate developer, Roy Carroll and his wife Vanessa of The Carroll Companies.
This year’s event will be presented on Jan. 27, 2018 at the Empire Room in downtown Greensboro, so remember to “Go big, or go home!”
You can learn more about Family Service of the Piedmont by going to www.safeandhealthyfamilies.com
Carl Mize is a full-time designer and a freelance writer. He lives and works downtown with his furry, four-legged partner in crime, Malachi. He is quite attracted to shiny things and even shinier people.