by Cassie Mattia

Loveland, Ohio – “We are asking our local businesses to support the Valentine’s ‘Mask’erade Ball through sponsorships to cover the cost of the event,” LSFD (Loveland Symmes Fire Department) Chief Otto Huber said, “We want to send as many interested firefighters to medic school as possible. It will be a great time to take your sweetheart out for a romantic evening and support a great charity!”

When the LCFA (Loveland Symmes Community Firefighter’s Association) found out about Loveland planning its first Hearts Afire Weekend, they knew they wanted to be involved. So in true Loveland style, they decided to plan a heart-felt event where they could not only be involved with the Hearts Afire festivities but they could also give back to a great cause at the same time.

After the LSFD’s Chief Financial Officer, Candice Cook, passed in 2018, they wanted to be sure to keep her memory alive because for 25 years she was such an important part of the department. Cook’s family and the LCFA started the Candice M. Cook Scholarship Foundation in hopes that the fund would help and encourage firefighters to attend paramedic school.

For firefighters attending paramedic school, it not only means they advance within their careers but also gives them an opportunity to explore higher education. Because paramedic schooling can be both time-consuming and expensive (over $10,000) the LCFA and Cook’s family wanted the sole mission of their scholarship foundation to be providing funds for the cost of tuition and books for paramedic high education. 

The Loveland Firefighters attempted to celebrate Cook and the scholarship foundation with a music festival in September of 2020 but unfortunately, the event had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 spike. Now the Loveland Firefighters are ready more than ever to get the Cook Foundation up and running, which is why they decided to launch their first-ever Valentine’s “Mask”erade Ball!

“Valentine’s Day in Loveland is a big deal,” Huber said, “Our city’s theme is ‘Sweetheart of Ohio.’ Every year, people from all over the world send their Valentine’s Day cards to the Loveland Post Office, where the red-clad Loveland Valentine Ladies see to it that each Cupid-themed communication receives the city’s official Valentine’s Day stamp.”

The Valentine’s “Mask”erade Ball sponsored by the Candice M. Cook Foundation will be held at the Landing Event Center in downtown Loveland on Saturday, February 12th from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Ball will include a beautiful dinner, an open bar, free valet parking, “casino” activities, and local entertainment featuring The Nasty Nati Brass Band. Dancing is of course encouraged and Loveland’s very own Mayor, Kathy Bailey, will be renewing wedding vows for those that are interested in “re-tying the knot!” Tickets are $65 per person or $120 per couple for the Valentine’s “Mask”erade Ball. If you cannot attend but would love to donate to the Candice M. Cook Foundation, click here.

The Valentine’s Day fun won’t end at the Landing Event Center! Beginning at 10 p.m. The Nasty Nati Brass Band will lead an impromptu 2nd line parade to the after-party, which will take place on Bishop’s Quarter’s rooftop. Those that attend will be able to enjoy New Orleans-inspired drinks and food in addition to fireworks!

We are so happy to help get the word out about this unbelievably giving event! Be sure to purchase tickets for the Valentine’s “Maskerade” Ball if you can attend and if not you can still donate to the Candice M. Cook Scholarship Foundation by clicking the button above! We hope to see you at the Ball!

For more local event updates stay tuned to the Loveland Salad With ME, Cassie Mattia!

Columnist Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Co-Owner, Associate Editor, and Director of Marketing for Loveland Magazine. Contact her if you are interested in promoting your event or business in Loveland Magazine. Cassie also Emcee’s events so feel free to reach out if you are in need of an Emcee for your next event, fundraiser, or sports-related competition. Cassie was just awarded the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance 2021 Young Business Professional of the Year. Follow Cassie on Instagram and/or Facebook!

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