Habitat for Humanity Breakfast Ball serves up funds and fun


Photo courtesy of Keson Graham

Seniors Lilly Jacobsen and Kate Immergluck thank guests for donating to the fundraiser. Around 40 people showed up, and almost all donated, Immergluck said.

Ellie Ritter

Sounds of live, local music and the smell pancakes sizzling on the griddle filled the Color Wheel Studio on Howard Avenue last Sunday as seniors Sam Ellis, Kate Immergluck and Lilly Jacobsen hosted the first-ever Habitat for Humanity “Breakfast Ball.”

The event, a fundraiser for Decatur’s Habitat for Humanity club, put a unique spin on traditional charity events, according to Ellis.

Habitat for Humanity, an organization where volunteers build homes for poor families, asks each branch (or team) to donate annually to the organization. In order to raise money for a donation, Immergluck, the president of the club, came up with the idea for a fundraiser, and Ellis and Jacobsen joined in to make it their IB Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) project.

“When [Jacobsen and Immergluck] and I were planning the Breakfast Ball, we wanted to put on something that would raise money but would also give people a genuinely fun time,” Ellis said. “Originally, we thought we’d do something with just a silent auction. Then, I thought, ‘hey, everyone loves pancakes,’ so we came up with adding a breakfast bar and a live band to the silent auction.”

Photo courtesy of Keson Graham
Among the entertainment was a live singer, sophomore Kristina Jones, who Immergluck asked to perform.

At the event, guests could bid on items like makeup or art in a silent auction. They also could eat pancakes made by student volunteers.

While Ellis hoped the fun twist would draw in guests, he still worried that the turnout would be small.

“I had some plans fall through before, so I was a little worried, especially because not as many people know about Habitat for Humanity,” he said. “Leading up to the event, not a lot of people had responded, so we thought it might only draw in 15 or 20 people.”

Then, on Sunday night, Ellis got a surprise. Around 40 people attended the fundraiser, and 15 student volunteers came to help.

Photo courtesy of Keson Graham
Senior Sam Ellis (right) helps make pancakes. Ellis, Immergluck and Jacobsen spent around $200 on materials to make pancakes.

One volunteer, senior Sarah Stay, worked at the Breakfast Ball because she wants to become more involved in the club.

“I can’t go to a lot of the builds, so giving my time to the fundraiser was a good way to keep myself involved,” she said. “I think a lot of people felt the same way. There was a really positive, community-oriented atmosphere, and everyone seemed so happy to help out a good organization.”

In fact, enough people attended that the club was able to raise $800, Ellis said.

Photo courtesy of Keson Graham
Volunteers took breaks between making pancakes to chat with attendees.

“We weren’t expecting to make that much money at all, so it made [Immergluck, Jacobsen] and I really happy,” he said. “A lot of people bought stuff in the auctions not because they wanted the stuff but because they wanted to contribute to the cause. It really shows that the school community will come together to support their friends.”

After the crowd dwindled, the volunteers celebrated the event’s success.

“We all just went and danced to the live band by ourselves,” Stay said. “We just made pancakes and laughed with each other. It was easily the most fun fundraiser I’ve been to.”

Contact Ellie Ritter at [email protected].