Winter Ball Guests Travel to a Masquerade in Venice


Blot photo by Drew Lepping

The sophomore class hosted Winter Ball at CHS on Friday, Jan. 10.

Kristen Gallagher

The feeling of Venice was alive in the cafeteria of CHS on Friday, Jan. 10 for the annual Winter Ball, complete with a life-size gondola, themed decorations and even a gelato bar. The sophomore class’ hard work was displayed as students enjoyed a fun night with friends.

Spanish teacher and sophomore class adviser Karen Britto said that the dance took months of planning. 

As a group we have been talking about the Winter Ball since the start of the school year; students began by brainstorming ideas for themes, decorations and food. The official planning process began in October,” Britto said. 

Sophomore council member Isabella Ji of Holmdel added that the planning process started “after Fall Spirit Week,” but “[felt] like there wasn’t a time where [they] weren’t thinking/planning for Winter Ball.” 

Britto explained that the theme was chosen after a grade-wide survey, where the two most popular themes, “masquerade” and “evening in Venice,” were combined. 

Sophomore Councilmember Margaret Schneider of Wall explained that the class did not struggle to get people involved in committees and the planning process.

“Everyone was so motivated to volunteer and did a great job to assist [the council],” added Sophomore Councilmember Liam Stemetzki of Wall.

Despite all the help, Schneider still found it difficult to set up in the time frame provided.

  “It definitely was hard to get everything ready after school because we needed to put up huge bulletin board papers and get a lifesize gondola into the school,” Schneider said. “It took a lot of time and effort to decorate the cafeteria and front hallway.” 

Sophomore Class President Samantha Skolnick of Hazlet explained that the dance wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did without all the outside help the council received. 

“The set-up crew, decorations team, our djs, music team, food committee, council and so many more worked very hard to get the school ready for the winter ball,” Skolnick said.

To accompany the theme, students 

were given a ticket at arrival to vote for their favorite student-made mask, as part of a contest. Junior Ravenna Gemignani of Oceanport won the competition by using old materials in a new way.

“I recycled old materials that I found at home and repurposed them,” Gemignani said. “I sculpted a tiger using old paper clay and added feathers from an old Thanksgiving centerpiece which I then painted blue.” 

The sophomore class council was pleased with the event overall and believed everyone enjoyed the night they put together.

I was really happy with the turnout, especially how there were a lot of people wearing masks,” Ji said. “The gelato bar was a huge success, the decorations all came together, and Liam even dressed up as a gondolier.”

Freshman Kate Ruane of Oceanport agreed, saying, “I thought the theme was super cute and unlike any dance I’ve been to.”

Britto thought the event was a success and enjoyed seeing that the class’s work paid off.

“I was very pleased with the turnout,” Britto said. “The students at CHS are incredibly hard working and it is great to see students from all grades having fun together.”