First Stage's 18th Annual Make Believe Ball

By: Jenny Loeffler

Have you ever dreamed of having a golden ticket to travel with Charlie to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? Enter into a world of pure imagination by attending First Stage’s 18th annual Make Believe Ball on February 11 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

First Stage seeks to touch hearts, engage minds, and transform lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and their families. This is achieved each year from the financial support provided at this annual black-tie family event. With 400 adults and children in attendance at last year’s Make Believe Ball, over $100,000 was raised for First Stage.

Libby Baranko and Tammy Fricker, co-chairs of the Make Believe Ball committee, expressed the importance of the ball on the community, “having an annual fundraiser that includes kids helps fulfill First Stage’s purpose to exist.”

The theme for this year’s Make Believe Ball revolves around the upcoming CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY production, which runs March 2-31 at the Todd Wehr Theater.

The Make Believe Ball is the only black-tie fundraiser that parents can attend with their kids (ages 3 and up). That’s right; this is an evening that the whole family can enjoy! Tickets to the ball are $50 per child, $75 per teen, and $175 per adult. The ticket prices include a gourmet, chocolate-themed dinner, a voice and silent auction, children’s entertainment, and music and dancing that will last the whole evening.

At the live and silent auction, you could win…
- 4 Viewing Passes for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- 4 Green Bay Packers tickets.
- A half-day guided fly-fishing expedition for you and one guest.
- A one week stay in a 4 bedroom house on a mountain in Breckenridge, Colorado.
- Tickets for you and a guest to attend the 2012 Ryder Cup in Chicago.
- VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the Milwaukee County Zoo.
- The opportunity for a young person to serve as a Milwaukee Bucks Team Attendance for a 2012-2013 game.

First Stage’s 18th Annual Make Believe Ball will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2012, from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the Crystal Ballroom at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, located at 509 W. Wisconsin Avenue, in downtown Milwaukee.

For more on this year’s Make Believe Ball, please visit or contact Meaghan Morrissey at (414) 267-2937 or We hope to see you there!

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