Dumbledore’s Army Hosts Magical Evening

Members of Dumbledore's Army and attendees of the sixth annual Yule Ball took photos in front of a "Fantastic Beasts" themed backdrop. Photo by Noelle Salzarulo.

Students transported themselves to Hogwarts this Saturday for a Roaring ‘20s themed Yule Ball.

Magic was very much a tangible abstraction of life when SUNY New Paltz’s very own chapter of The Harry Potter Alliance, Dumbledore’s Army, put on their annual Yule Ball.

On Saturday, Feb. 25, students were invited to enjoy a night of music, food and advocacy. The event, a fixture of this charity advocacy group for six years, continues to introduce a new theme every year. This particular year, the group rewound the clock and selected the Roaring ‘20s. 

Students adorned with fishnet stockings, glimmering drop waist dresses, fedoras and feather headbands, walked arm in arm into the campus’ Multipurpose Room. Awaiting them were the smiling faces of the club’s e-board. With a suggested donation of $7, attendees were escorted into a “ballroom” and encouraged to begin the night with a commemorating photoshoot that could have been taken directly out of The Great Gatsby

Much of the night’s magic came strictly from the hard work and dedication of the members of the organization, who designed decorations and set up the night, creating a magical experience for students. 

The proceeds of the event will go to Grace Smith House, a charity that dedicates its time and services to helping victims of domestic violence. Dumbledore’s Army Vice President Bianca Fields explained that every year the club chooses one charity that will receive the proceeds of all their fundraising events.

The night was not without extensive planning. Beginning in the fall semester, Fields explains that the club has separate meetings specifically to discuss the event along with submitting paperwork early on in the year.

“There are a lot of details that needed to be sorted out: theme, color scheme, decorations,” Fields said. “We need to find a caterer. This year, the night is being catered by Main Street Bistro, with cupcakes from Moxie Cup.”

“Aside from the planning leading up to the night, the day of is just as busy,” Fields said, citing the time of decorating began at 12 p.m., a whole eight hours before the club expected students to walk through the door.

Very much like the principles taught in J.K. Rowling’s series, Fields explains that the club focuses on love, passion and loyalty.

“Just like the book, we try and take the aspect of friendship that has been introduced throughout the novels,” Fields said. 

While the club has a few big events throughout the academic year, Fields expressed her love for this night in particular.

“I love the Yule Ball,” Fields said. “Everybody comes with their friends to have a good time, eat good food and give back to people who really need it.”

The club focuses on creating group discussions revolving around friendly support, and even participates in low-stress craft nights.

Fields began her journey with the club her freshman year, knowing that it would bring her much happiness. 

“The friends I’ve met here, because of this club, are friends I will have for life, and I think that’s what this club was intended for,” Fields said. “Just like you see in the books.”