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The History of capital masquerade

In 2015, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region put out a call to the community to help create an innovative new fundraiser to support “The House That Love Built.”  Kate Otis took this challenge to heart, and assembled a team of local creatives and key partners to present a grand Masquerade Ball to RMHC.  This team is now known as the “Dream Team.”  The idea was to dream up a unique and elegant event that was mysterious, intriguing, and broke the mold for charity galas.  In the first year, this upscale masked ball was scheduled to take place on Halloween weekend, and was designed to appeal to a wide range of attendees, some of whom might not attend traditional gala.  For established philanthropist, the goal was to create an experience unlike any they had ever before.  It was also intended to introduce young professionals and creative enthusiasts to the world of philanthropy by designing an event shrouded in mystery with entertainment around every corner.  With the help of dedicated sponsors and partners, Capital Masquerade was born, and it was celebrated by over 400 masked party-goers that first year.  The success of the inaugural event fueled the Dream Team to not only continue to present the Capital Masquerade, but to elevate the event to new heights, with even larger goals for fundraising, entertainment, and crowd participation.

Over the past four years, the Dream Team has added a few new creatives, which has enhanced our experience and allowed this endeavor to grow with tremendous success and sell-out events.  From 2015 to 2018, the Capital Masquerade has collectively raised over $460,000 for RMHC of the Capital Region.


Silver screen

A glimpse into the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood, with active movie sets from classic films, the 2018 Capital Masquerade generated applause from everyone who stepped onto the red carpet that night.  The SILVER SCREEN was influenced by iconic Hollywood history, pulling inspiration from the pages of old scripts, cinema, and those legendary movie characters we all know and love.  Over 800 guests were welcomed back to the Schenectady Armory Center, ready to bring on the Ritz, and dance the night away.  Audiences were invited to walk the red carpet, step onto movie sets with some of their favorite characters, and were treated to live, spontaneous performances throughout the night.  The entire evening was truly show-stopping.


Streets of London

After a SOLD OUT event and so much excitement generated by the Mad Hatter’s Ball, the Dream Team was challenged not only to come up with another thrilling theme, but to expand their location in order to accommodate a larger guest list.  With an anticipated crowd of over 800, the Dream Team began the process of venue hunting and brainstorming, keeping the venue itself a mystery long into the planning process for aded suspense.  By following the clues and solving riddles, attendees found themselves in what felt like the chapters of a Sherlock Holmes novel, only to later discover that they were in fact being taken back in time to the Streets of London.  Our 2017 event was hosted in our sister city of Schenectady at the Schenectady Armory.  This giant and wide open space became a playground for the Dream Team to recreate 1890s London, completely with London Tube Stations, Kensington Gardens, classic pubs, and perfectly themed food & cocktails.  Guests danced the night away with magnificent attractions including a fully operational 45 foot high ferris wheel.  Staying true to Capital Masquerade culture, guests were surrounded by stunning performances by acrobats, character actors, Big Ben, and an epic London downpour.


The Mad Hatter’s Ball

With the buzz generated by the inaugural Masquerade, the Dream Team expanded in order to elevate the 2016 Masquerade to the next level.  The team decided to give this elegant event a fanciful spin, and adopted a beloved theme for the second annual Masquerade: The Mad Hatter’s Ball.  Taking on “Wonderland” allowed the event to include incredible design elements, unmatched entertainment, and inspired food and drink options. The event sold out weeks in advance, welcoming a crowd of 550 guests at 90 State, with over 300 names on the waiting list!  The magic of Wonderland was brought to life with the Capital Masquerade twist, featuring curious characters, including contortionists, sword swallowers, and living gardens.  All of these elements made this event a magnificent an transcendent evening down the rabbit hole, all to support RMHC of the Capital Region.  The Dream Team achieved such amazing things in this collaboration, and the numbers spoke for themselves…and what they were saying was that we needed to go even BIGGER to meet the public’s demand for this unique, black-tie event to do the most good for The House.


The Masquerade

In 2015, the Dream Team presented the first Capital Masquerade to benefit RMHC of the Capital Region.  The event was a first of its kind in the area, combining a unique and festive black-tie masked ball with a charitable mission – supporting “The House That Love Built.”  In its inaugural year, Capital Masquerade welcomed over 400 masked guests to 90 State in Downtown Albany to kick off Halloween weekend while dancing the night away and supporting a great cause – RMHC of the Capital Region.  The event was a huge success, and the word of mouth buzz quickly turned Capital Masquerade into a “must attend” event each year.

Creativity + Community + Charity

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Ronald McDonald House Charities
139 South Lake Avenue
Albany, NY 12208