Guides Have a Ball
Colonnade Ball breaks organizational barriers as it raises money for memorial
The University Guides hosted their 24th Annual Colonnade Ball Friday, Feb. 22 at the Jefferson Theater on the Downtown Mall — proving the Wahoo staples of service and a good time are a surefire recipe for resounding success.
The event originated in 1989 as the U-Guides’ central student-run fundraiser, initially supporting the restoration of the Colonnades behind Lambeth Field Apartments. After their completion, funds have been contributed to various construction projects around Grounds, specifically toward restoration of the Rotunda.
This year the U-Guides, led by third-year College students Annie Crabill and Emma DiNapoli, co-chairs of the event, decided they wanted to do something a little different with the ball’s proceeds.
“We wanted to mix things up and [provide for] a more tangible [cause],” Crabill said.
Their answer came to them via the Memorial for Enslaved Labor Committee, which is currently looking to create a more suitable memorial for the enslaved laborers whose work and efforts helped contribute to building the University. The committee, founded by Student Council in 2009, was formed to address the lack of publicity given to enslaved laborers and their history at the University.
“[It was] definitely a departure, in that this is the first time we’ve reached out to other organizations,” Crabill said. “It’s been really great to have their support.”
Hosting the event downtown rather than on Grounds, Crabill said, was also important in creating a community-wide affair.
“We had a great turnout and a ton of positive energy,” DiNapoli said. “It’s so refreshing that a couple of hundred students made the effort to come downtown to support a really important cause.”
The committee’s planned memorial, based in part off of designs submitted in a contest in 2011, is still contingent on receiving the necessary funding, said committee co-chair Edna Turay, a third-year College student. Tentative plans place the memorial near Brooks Hall, but Turay said that very well may change.
“We just want the memorial,” Turay said. “Our only request is that it is somewhere on central Grounds, because we want it to be accessible to the [whole] community.”
Turay, along with fourth-year College student Jared Brown, committee co-chair, recently submitted a proposal to University President Teresa Sullivan and they are currently awaiting her response.
The U-Guides newly founded relationship with the committee didn’t end with the last dance though, DiNapoli said.
“We will continue to incorporate more of U.Va.’s racial history into our tours,” she said.