Get ready, Louisville, as CABO WABO hosts its annual Coat Party this weekend. Now in its 20th year of supporting charities in the local community, the organization is planning a party bigger and better than before. All proceeds this year will benefit kids with cancer at Indian Summer Camp.
As volunteers prepare for the event, one question is raised by CABO WABO Board President, John Witten, “Who would ever believe we would have come this far?” In 1993, a man named Alan Lewis hosted a party in his basement, in which he asked friends and family to donate coats for the homeless. Twenty years later, this small event has turned into an unbelievable phenomenon. Every year, the guest list increases, more coats are collected, and money raised for charity continues to multiply. CABO WABO’s Coat Party is this Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center in Louisville. It will once again be an evening of fun and entertainment with music provided by The Louisville Crashers. Donated coats will be given to the St. Vincent De Paul Society.
After the 3rd CABO WABO Party, the venue changed to the Aero Club to accommodate the growing number of attendees. CABO WABO became the official name for the group to organize the event. The names CABO (standing for Charity and Benefit Organization) and WABO (meaning We’re All Better Off) were specifically chosen acronyms to identify the group’s mission and goals: CABO WABO was founded as a fund raising organization to benefit local charities. Their mission is to provide quality entertainment in a festive atmosphere, which will in turn provide monetary resources for the needy. By promoting these charities, their goal is to gain public awareness for the less fortunate and to provide them with material goods and a financial conduit for their cause.
The CABO WABO Board carefully chooses a charity to benefit each year. While there are no specific requirements in making the selection, Witten notes that certain considerations are taken into account: how established is the charity, where will the proceeds be used, and how much volunteer support will there be to assist with the event. Indian Summer Camp has been chosen for a second time. The non-profit organization provides camps and recreational programs for children with cancer and their families. In addition to the annual week for children with cancer, this past year Indian Summer Camp hosted a weekend camp for siblings. The time spent away provides a stress-free experience where campers engage in fun activities, build friendships, and gain confidence. As numbers of campers continue to grow each year, no child will be turned away. Jon Dubins, Board President, is thrilled to have Indian Summer Camp as the recipient for the second time.
The growth of CABO WABO remains a mystery. It raises an average of $25,000 each year at its Coat Parties. In 1997, they added Spring Flings held annually in June. They anticipate 2000 attendees for this Saturday. Witten recognizes “the truly wonderful Board members who go the extra mile for the success of the event and charity. The greatest amount of thanks goes to all of the friends and family who have supported the events and charities throughout the years.”
Your support this weekend can help “make the dream come true”.