Pride and Prejudice costume ball benefit in Maple Ridge

A unique fundraiser in Maple Ridge is coming up next month, in a Jane Austen costume ball.

A unique fundraiser in Maple Ridge is coming up next month, in a Jane Austen costume ball.

Maureen Floris of Youth Unlimited is confident the new dance on Oct. 23 will be “epic.

“This is a first time for us, but Jane Austen has a huge following,” she said.

She got the idea from a friend in California who organizes Jane Austen dances, and said they sound like a lot of fun.

“They’re something totally different, and something our community has not done before.”

The theme is early 1800s country dancing. People can Google Pride and Prejudice images for an idea of their costume, but Floris said women can wear simple white dresses with flat shoes, and men should wear cummerbunds around their waists and cravats instead of ties.

She said the people of the time would get together to dance and have fun as a community, “which is what we’re all about.”

There will be a live band and a professional caller who will teach dance steps from the period, which were typically group dance steps performed in lines.

“There will be experienced dancers on the floor, which will help us all learn it.

“And you don’t have to have a dance partner to come.”

Austen also wrote about young women trying to find rich husbands, but “we won’t be focussing on that aspect,” joked Floris. The theme is more about charity.

The event will got Tickets are $35 each or $60 for a couple, and there will be raffles and door prices. The age limit is 16 and older.

The event will be held at Burnett Fellowship Church (20639  – 123 Ave.) with doors opening at 6 p.m. and dancing from 6:30 until 10 p.m.

Buy tickets at bitly.com/janeaustenball.

Floris said the group has a goal of raising $17,000 for the night. It will be put toward the Youth Unlimited breakfast program, which sees meals like pancakes and sausage or egg sandwiches served to students at four different high schools in Maple Ridge.

• Questions can be directed to Maureen Floris at 778-242-8907.