Laing House Masquerade Ball

Volunteer Profile: Mary Black

The Laing House Masquerade Ball is a completely volunteer driven event, so as you can imagine – we have some pretty spectacular volunteers. One of our volunteers is new to the committee this year, and we thought we'd take this opportunity to learn a little bit more about Mary Black.

Can you tell us a bit about you?
I am a proud Cape Bretoner who moved to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University in the 90s, and now I call the Hydrostone neighborhood my home. I work for locally owned National Art Limited, which is the head office of Frame It, there I do Contract Sales of Art and Framing supplies for all of Atlantic Canada. Professionally and personally, I feel that volunteer work is an important part of who I am - my colleges and friends know I always have "something on the go"! Currently, I am volunteering with the Design Review Committee for HRM and sit on the boards of the Interior Designers of Nova Scotia and Veith House.

Why did you choose to support Laing House?
Well, I first heard about Laing House through my committee work on grants review for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. I loved the type of support and programs that Laing House offers and knowing that they are making a difference in many lives – I wanted to be a part of that.

How did you hear about the Laing House Masquerade Ball?
Like any good salesperson and community member, I always keep my ear to the group and that's how I heard about the Masquerade Ball. I connected with Elizabeth Newman from RCR Hospitality Group who shared with me that this was an event she thought I would be a good fit for and she set up a meeting for me to meet Jane Machum, the Chair of the Committee.

Why did you want to volunteer on the committee?
I knew that I could bring my organizational skills and spirit of enthusiasm to what is already a great event.

Why décor? Can you tell us a bit about your team?
Décor is a detail that we care about. I have a team that includes a graphic designer, interior decorator, and a project manager. We are very like minded but we each have our own area of expertise. Décor for us is not just about our fantastic floral, lighting, and backdrop but also about many mood setting elements from the moment you pull up to our venue to your last spin on our dance floor.

What's it like on the committee?
It is a fun experience; I try to make the planning stage almost as exciting as the event will be. I am constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for details for the event and once a month we have a sit down meeting – although we talk when we need to!

Why do you think people should go to the ball?
It is going to be a magic evening that our guests will not soon forget while also not forgetting that it is providing much needed funding for important programming at Laing House. Our Old Hollywood theme is swank and sophistication with many fun details layered over it.

What's the best thing to happen since you started volunteering with Laing House?
The best thing to happen so far in planning for the Masquerade Ball is receiving confirmation from some special components for the evening – it's going to be great!

What are you most looking forward to for the Masquerade Ball?
I am looking forward to rallying my team of volunteers, introducing them to this event, and watching them add to the experience for our guests.