Flashback: May 5 Firefighters Ball promises roaring good times

The 2012 Hood River Firefighters Ball will be at Columbia Gorge Hotel on May 5 at 6 p.m.

“This is a fundraiser for the volunteer association,” said Firefighter EMT volunteer and event organizer Suzanne Lusk. All proceeds support the community in the form of scholarships or building projects, such as a handrail for an elderly couple.

The Hood River Firefighters Ball has a long history.

In 1904, a local business burned down, and the owner refused to rebuild in the City of Hood River unless a fire hall was built. The first ball was held, $126 was raised, and a tradition was born.

“For years, it was the big social event,” said Lusk.

Ball-goers this year will find themselves at a 1950s Sock Hop. Everyone is encouraged to dress up, as there will be prizes given for the best costume. Wolfman Jack, a radio personality from that era — or, at least, someone who sounds like him — will DJ the dance.

Couples can get their pictures taken by Paul Henke’s souped-up 1955 Ford pickup for $5, or chose a plain backdrop.

Lusk said that local businesses have donated items totaling $1,500 and will be raffled off during the evening. A framed print by Mosier artist (and firefighter) Ellen Dittebrandt, valued around $2,000, will be raffled separately.

Beer and wine have been donated by local breweries and wineries such as Double Mountain, Full Sail and White Buffalo. Individuals have also donated wine from area wineries to use at the event.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Lusk.

There is also a “Hotel Special” for two, which can be purchased at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, 4000 Westcliff Drive. The special includes a hotel room, ball tickets, dinner and dancing, two drinks per person and a discounted brunch.

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