With the Prohibition Ball fast approaching, James Bennett argues that the lack of a single nominated benefitting charity does the event a disservice.
Since the cancellation of the ever popular SSB I am now thoroughly bereft of any legitimate reason to go out on the town in my pants, of which The Firehouse can only be so accommodating. However, the looming Prohibition Ball has promised an evening of fun and frivolity with a side of, ‘zoot suits, bowler hats, flapper dresses and feathers’ as a fun and more importantly hopefully inoffensive alternative.
Organised by Exeter RAG, it looks like it’ll be a great night for those who were quick enough to secure their non-transferable tickets before they sold out. The problem as I see it is the lack of a nominated charity for the proceeds to go towards; the SSB has a legacy and a cause that the new ball seems to lack.
This is not to say that I’m not hugely appreciative of all of the work that RAG do. They’ve raised thousands of pounds for a huge selection of nominated charities already this academic year and the work they do is something each and every member of RAG can and should be proud of. Moreover, dealing with the SSB backlash must have been a nightmare and to implement a brand new event in the immediately following year is no mean feat. My concern is that because the event doesn’t have the same hype surrounding it, the money raised is inevitably going to be a more modest sum and when divided between RAG’s numerous nominated charities makes much less of a statement.
The problem isn’t really about the amount raised though it’s that we could very easily have singled out a cause to support through the Prohibition Ball and in not doing so our alternative to the SSB begins to look like just that: a great excuse for a party with a bit of charity thrown in for good measure. Of course, none of this actually does anyone any harm and the money raised will make a great difference. However, the message that we’re sending is no longer that we wanted to support a worthy cause with a fundraising event; it’s that we needed to fill the SSB-shaped hole in our collective, scantily clad hearts.
The Prohibition Ball will be a fantastic event and I’m sure it will become a staple of Exeter’s social calendar, yet I can’t help but wonder if we couldn’t have done more to raise awareness for a plethora of worthy causes.
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