By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

The kids behind the mask

(Starla Pointer/N-R Reporter) Partygoers at the McMinnville Mayor's Charity Ball had a variety of reasons for being there Saturday night: Some liked the dancing, some liked the food, some liked having a chance to dress up, either in formalwear and finery or in costumes that fit the "Royal Masquerade" theme.

But nearly all said that the most important reason was because they like giving kids more opportunities.

The annual ball raises money for Kids on the Block, the after school program for students in McMinnville and Lafayette -- more than $110,000 this year and a total of about $1.5 million in the 24 years the ball has been held. 

KOB was started to give kids a safe place to go in the hours between when school lets out and their parents get home from work. It offers them homework help, physical activity and enrichment activities. 

If you had dropped by the ball Saturday night, you'd have seen people dressed in royal purples, reds and golds, wearing cloaks and capes and masks of all descriptions. And if you had looked closely, you'd have seen the inspiration behind the masks: Kids.

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