by Randy Bauman

It started with an offhand comment by my friend Larry LeMieux, “we need a place to go on New Year’s Eve.” His idea was an elegant formal New Year’s ball and the six of us present that night brainstormed. What emerged was an event we named “The Black and White Ball.”

Other couples were asked to join our group, which we eventually named “The Party People.” The first annual Black & White Ball was held in 2016. It was a rousing success and has become an annual event.

“Our idea, that first year, was to donate profits to a chosen charity. But it turned out there weren’t any profits,” said Larry LeMieux. “Our venue that first year required us to hire a caterer, rent dishes and other items and we recognized we needed more of a one stop shop going forward.”

After an extensive search the group chose The 1880 Grille at Conestoga Golf Club and we have been working with them ever since. The 2019 event will be open to the public for the first time.

Always one to support the community, LeMieux, who manages the Mesquite Airport, came up with the idea to use one of the airport hangars for an old fashioned hangar dance. The event was to be held following the annual Veteran’s Day Parade to raise money for the local veteran’s center.

The first annual Hangar Dance was held in November, 2017. Last year the event raised $4,000 for the veteran’s center. “We couldn’t do it without the generous support of so many local organizations and businesses who donate the time, personnel, food, supplies, equipment and prizes that make the event a success,” added LeMieux.

The Party People currently include Larry and Ava LeMieux, Randy Bauman and Christine Picior, George and Linda Gault, Doug and Nancy Hewett, Sherry Gosdis (and her late husband Charlie Hospadura, to whom this year’s event is dedicated) and our newest members Mike and Bunny Wiseman.

The 3rd Annual Hangar Dance to benefit Mesquite Veterans will be held and the Mesquite Airport Saturday, November 2 following the Veteran’s Day Parade.

The 4th Annual New Year’s Black & White Ball will be presented jointly by The Party People and The 1880 Grille at Conestoga Golf Club. Seating is limited, contact one of the Party People or The 1880 Grille for more information.