Casino hosts Arc of Haywood Ball

Mar 21, 2014
Photo by: Donated IN WONDERLAND — Heather Queen, left, volunteer with Harrah's Cherokee HERO program, joined Arc residents Taylor Smith, and Morgan Bielick on the dance floor during the Mad Hatter Tea Party hosted by Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort.

Beautiful evening gowns, a white rabbit, an array of teas and spirited music swept the dance floor as Arc of Haywood County residents and friends arrived for a Mad Hatter's Tea Party hosted by Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in the hotel ballroom March 17.

Nearly 200 Arc residents and affiliates from across Western North Carolina attended the second annual event. Harrah's Cherokee provided the space, food and music, along with transforming the hotel ballroom into a scene out of Alice in Wonderland.

"It truly was a magical evening for Arc residents and our own employees who volunteered with Harrah's Employees Reaching Out (HERO)," said Craig Day, Harrah's Cherokee community relations manager. "Arc of Haywood has been one of Harrah's Cherokee's community partners for several years, and we were thrilled to be able to host this special evening out for them."

To the delight of Arc guests, Harrah's employees fell down the rabbit hole and dressed in full “Alice in Wonderland” costumes. Volunteers for the event welcomed participants at the door and helped dance the night away. Many of the Harrah's HEROs said they made friends who they are looking forward to seeing out in the community and at future Arc events.

"The residents looked beautiful, and Harrah's did an amazing job making the whole event truly feel like we were in Wonderland," said Denise Coleman, Arc executive director. "We are so fortunate to live in such a supportive community and appreciate Harrah's providing our residents and friends with such a memorable event."

The Arc of Haywood County provides residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc recognizes that all people should have the opportunity to live in and be a part of their community. For more information about The Arc of Haywood County, a United Way Agency, visit

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