Prom on steroids (with less acne and awkwardness).

Whether it be with services or resources, donating to an organization is a phenomenal way to further one’s involvement in the community while helping the community at the same time. I’ve loved donating my time and services to help a nonprofit style and execute a fundraising event — the hands-on experience helps me to learn more about the services the nonprofit provides and the people affected, which keeps me motivated and impassioned.

There are very few events I’ve been to in my life that I would classify as an “experience.” The annual Great Circle Diamond Night is truly an experience.

For the past five years, I’ve had the lucky fortune to be involved with this phenomenal event benefiting Great Circle, and I’ve served as a Chair for the past three. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to transform an otherwise traditional fundraising banquet into a festive and meaningful storybook oasis. The night is a magical escape for the attendees, and it supports a critical nonprofit in Mid-Missouri.

The scope of Great Circle’s services is vast, benefiting children and families with trauma counseling, adoptions, mental health services, autism services, and more. Their efforts helped 24,000 families in Missouri last year alone.

The annual gala, which always sells out, has a storybook theme each year, with the event venue transformed into a classic childhood tale. The theme for this year’s event is the C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. The event team works closely to design and develop the decorations on a minimal budget, which means lots of crafting and building. They also always strive to keep the youth involved, so the kids working with Great Circle are constructing a beautiful lion mural with the mane made up of quotes directly from the children.

The event truly is a blend of passion, elegance, whimsy, and, above all else, philanthropy.

It is magical.

This years’ experience will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27, at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. Individual tickets are $140. Tables and sponsorships are also available.

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