St. Clair County is hosting its fifth annual Armed Forces Ball that will take place on Saturday, May 4, at the Regency Conference Center in O’Fallon.
The event will honor the service of military members including airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guard and veterans assigned to Scott Air Force Base and other locations throughout the Metro East.
Ellen Hughes of the St. Clair County Armed Forces Ball Committee said that each year approximately 400 tickets are sold. Of that 400, 100 of the tickets are given to military members for free.
Each table at the ball will consist of 10 people, eight of them being members from the surrounding communities and two of them being military members.
Hughes said it is set up that way so community members, business owners and individuals in the military can mingle and get to know one another.
“It’s a formal affair,” she said of the military ball.
Hughes is the wife of the late General John Hughes, who was the Director of Military Affairs for St. Clair County. He acted as liaison between Scott Air Force Base and the county and worked under County Chairman Mark Kern.
It was his idea that bore the annual military ball. Gen. Hughes died in August of 2018.
“Five years ago, he said we need to do more for the base, we need to give back somehow,” Hughes said. “That is how the idea of the ball came to be.”
Tickets cost $100 per person and all of the proceeds earned through the ball goes back to Scott Air Force Base and military members and veterans in the surrounding communities.
“It stays local,” Hughes said. “That is important to us because we want people to know that we are doing this because of our community. We try to have everybody benefit from it,” Hughes said of the ball proceeds.
Hughes said the ball has “really grown” since its inception five years ago. “The first year was successful but not to the degree it is now,” she said.
The ball kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and will consist of entertainment by the Charles Glenn group, a silent auction with more than 100 items, cocktail hour with donated beer and wine and a sit down dinner.
Major General Stephen E. Farmen, the 21st Commanding General of the U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, will also make remarks at the event.
Hughes said that previous events have raised in excess of $20,000.
To purchase a ticket to the fifth annual Armed Forces Ball, visit http://ofallonchamber.chambermaster.com/events/details/st-clair-county-armed-forces-ball-6328.