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Port Orchard Party changes hands

The holiday season brings parties aplenty to Port Orchard, but this year’s official Port Orchard Party has never been so fundamental to the livelihoods of the charities it helps support.

The 16th annual Port Orchard Party will be held a week from Saturday inside Towne Square Port Orchard, the former South Kitsap Mall, which has since changed hands.

The person in charge has also changed. This year, Gigi Weixler is chairing the committee in charge of securing food and drinks, live entertainment, dancing and decorations for the five-hour not-for-profit gala.

“Last year, we raised a record-breaking $21,000,” Weixler said. “We’re hoping to top that.”

The South Kitsap Helpline, the Performing Arts Guild of South Kitsap and the Fathoms o’Fun Festival will reap the benefits of this year’s $35 per person party. Attendees receive dinner and two free drinks, as well as all the dancing they can stand. The floor opens at 9 p.m. with a wide array of music for any taste.

“This year we’re having an extra special musical group called the ‘Magical Strings’ in the lounge downstairs,” Weixler said.

According to Weixler, the Mike Nelson Trio, a well-known jazz group, will also be performing as will a deejay from Mobile Sound.

“The committee has been so great,” Weixler said. “The process has been so smooth that I almost feel like I’ve forgotten something.”

What Helpline’s Executive Director Jennifer Hardison hasn’t forgotten is the generosity of past Port Orchard Part attendees. Hardison said Helpline has taken a hit in donations this year as so many continue to donate to the recent large-scale natural disasters.

“We’ve definitely felt the impact of charitable giving outside the area,” Hardison said. “But people are becoming more aware that the need here doesn’t go away because there are needs that keep cropping up elsewhere.”

Tickets for the Port Orchard Party are available for $35 at the Mailroom in Towne Square Port Orchard, Olympic Fitness Club and all Port Orchard Kitsap Bank locations. Attendees must be 21 and over.

For more information call the South Kitsap Helpline at (360) 876-4089.

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