Step back in time to the roaring 1950s at the fourth annual costume party to benefit the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.
Get out your poodle skirts, break out your best Frank Sinatra impression and join in on the blast from the past fun 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino.
The evening of food, dancing, games and auctions all started out of the memory of one 3-year-old girl, Gracie, who was accidentally killed four years ago in Star Valley.
After her death, family friends, the Hills, donated to the Mogollon Health Alliance in her memory and started the memorial fund.
“From that it just exploded,” said Mogollon Health CEO Judy Baker of the fund. “Payson is a very giving community and people are amazed at the amount of funds we can raise.”
Last year the benefit brought in $50,000, bringing all donations to date around $250,000.
“We can all relate to children and tragedies,” Baker said. “We are much more apt to give when children are involved and it is just really wonderful to see.”
The memorial fund supports the health, safety and wellness of local children and families.
“It was started to help families with medical bills and from there it has grown,” Baker said.
Nurses are taught at the Gracie Lee Haught Education Resource Center and families get free bike helmets and car seats for children in kindergarten through second grade. There is a safety program for grade schools to help children recognize and feel safe around officers, a health fair in the fall and financial support in the event of a child’s medical emergency.
“It is rather heartwarming,” Baker said. “With nowhere else to turn, families can come here.”
Proceeds also benefit the Make A Wish Foundation.
This year’s event includes a DJ, multiple auctions, raffles of prize packages and a costume contest.
The family package includes a 42-inch LCD TV, Wii games and DVD player. There is also a men’s and women’s package.
Baker stresses that it is not a Halloween party.
“It happens around Gracie’s birthday and she always liked to dress up for her birthday,” she said.
The first year the theme was roaring ’20s, followed by 1880s and Mardi Gras last year.
Tickets are $20 at the door if you are in costume and $25 without.
Another fund-raising event is a barbecue Oct. 11 at Southwest Transmissions, 214 W. Aero Drive. All proceeds from oil changes will benefit the fund.
For more information on the costume party, the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund or to donate, contact the Mogollon Health Alliance at (928) 472-2588.