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Two of the volunteers selling raffle tickets.

Beacon for Hope’s 2nd annual Unmasking Suicide Masquerade Ball is just around the corner, and tickets are still available.

The masquerade will be held from 5 — 9 p.m. Saturday at the Bowyer Community Building on the Lyon County Fairgrounds.

Executive Director Melissa Kurtenbach said those who attended last year’s inaugural event should expect some fun changes to this year’s fundraiser.

“We’ve made some changes to make things a little more fun and exciting,” she said. “There’s going to be the opportunity, hopefully, for everybody to walk away with a door prize.”

Kurtenbach said names will be drawn throughout the night, giving attendees the chance to win gift certificates and gift cards from local businesses. The 50/50 raffle will also be done a little differently this year, with playing cards being used and drawn throughout the night.

“It will build up the anticipation,” she said. “We’ll also have a tarot card reader, so we’re really building up the mystery element this year.”

Kurtenbach said the masquerade, being so close to Halloween, is a great excuse for people to get dressed up. But, she said, fancy attire is not required to attend.

“While you’re certainly welcome to show up dressed to the nines, you don’t have to dress up at all,” she said. “We’ve had people who don’t dress up and just want to come out and support the cause. It’s kind of a cheap way to come out and have fun with your friends and loved ones.”

Kurtenbach said she was grateful for the support of the local community for donations of silent auction and raffle items. She said a number of great items are up for grabs again this year, with businesses being asked to create baskets for the event.

This year’s ball is being catered by Do-B’s, and Bourbon Cowboy will be providing drinks with a cash bar to attendees age 21 and older with valid identification. Drinks are not included with the price of the ticket.

Vegan dinner options will be available.

Entertainment will include a DJ playing dance-ready tunes, leading up to the silent auction.

Kurtenbach said that although Beacon for Hope’s mission is suicide prevention, the masquerade is intended to be a fun and uplifting event.

“It’s a celebration and we’re celebrating life, we’re celebrating the community,” Kurtenbach said. “We’re celebrating the Emporia community coming together for a good cause and a good time.”

Tickets are $25 each or $45 for couples and can be purchased on Beacon for Hope’s Facebook event page or at the door.

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