By Chris Brennaman

Get your broomsticks ready! Start your cauldrons boiling! Make sure you’re all stocked up on eye of newt and toe of frog!

But most important, get ready to party because the 16th annual Jerusalem House Halloween Bash and Costume Party is set for Saturday, Oct. 24 at the  W Atlanta in Midtown.

Jerusalem House is Atlanta’s oldest and largest provider of permanent housing for low-income and homeless individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS, and over the years, its annual Halloween party has become one of the city’s signature fundraising events.

“[It’s] our biggest and most successful fundraiser we host each year,” said Charlie Frew, executive director of Jerusalem House.

Janet Kibler, the treasurer for Jerusalem House’s board of directors, estimates that somewhere between 300 and 400 people will turn out to get their “Hocus Pocus” on. Sure, those attendees will be looking to help with a good cause, but they’ll also be keenly aware that this isn’t some stodgy, run-of-the-mill fundraiser.

“Ours is for people who want to have a good time and who like to party,” said Kibler.

While there are different ticket price tiers, a general admission ticket gets into the event and covers food and drinks. And in addition to plenty of food, flowing drinks and bumpin’ music, partiers will get the chance to hob-knob with local names like WSBTV’s Jovita Moore, Fox 5’s John Gidding and 97.1 The River’s Kaedy Kiely.

All big draws for certain, but, the biggest draw may actually be the partygoers themselves.

“It’s mind blowing to see just how creative people get with their costumes,” Kibler said. “It’s one of the things that makes this so much fun.”

The costume contest and parade inspire people to get pretty creative. It also sees them get pretty competitive. That’s because they’re vying for the cash and prizes, and this year all that’s valued at over $3,000.

“We’ve had people dressed like they were on the Titanic,” Kibler said. “Another time we had a group dressed like the single ladies from the Beyoncé video. They even had a dance routine.”

This year, she’s predicting more than a few GOP candidates “represented” at the party. But lest anyone forget, the event is a fundraiser, and according to Kibler, this year’s faux-Donald Trumps are expected to help raise between $45,000 and $50,000.

That said, raising money isn’t the only goal of Jerusalem House’s annual Halloween fund raising events. In fact, Jeff Perkins, president of Jerusalem House’s board of directors, said there are things more important than even money.

“This is a chance to maintain awareness as much as it is about making money,” Perkins said. “If we break even, that’s OK because the awareness it creates is important. When you look at the cross section of the community that comes out and the numbers that put effort into costumes, you realize how special this event is.”

Jerusalem House’s “Hocus Pocus,” The 16 Annual Halloween Bash and Costume Contest

The W Atlanta- Midtown

Saturday, October 24th

7 P.M.- 12 A.M.

General Admission – $65 per person through Friday, Oct. 23, $75 per person at the door

Premier Admission $150 per person

For more information visit www.jerusalemhouse.org/tickets

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