Charles Kocher, Pilot staff writer

The third annual Barnacle Ball danced into the bayou Saturday night,

coming away with more than $18,000 in funding for the KASPER program.

That was before the effort put into the ball attracted an outside

gift: $5,000 donated by someone who simply heard about the benefit for

the Kids' After School Program of Education and Recreation.

"I had tears in my eyes," said KASPER board member Darryn Ballance,

who was the connection to the additional $5,000. The donors, Lou and

Shelly Levigne, are clients of her father's interior design business in

the San Francisco area.

"The past two years, my father has helped with the decorations and the concepts - painted the windows, added the frog eyes to the swamp, babysat my kids and helped me get through it," she said.

A sold-out crowd of 160 guests enjoyed the results, which transformed an empty space at the Seascape Regional Center in Harbor into images and flavors of the French Quarter in New Orleans. There were re-creations of vintage buildings and dance music by the Delta Nationals, Hurricane rum cocktails and chicory coffee, iron-work fences and even an alligator or two.

For fundraising, there was a formal, four-course dinner and both silent and live auctions.

Bidding in the auction ran to $2,000 andndash; for a Craftsman hutch built by Brent Hodges of Rivers End Construction, as well as for a sushi and sake dinner party offered by Sam Furuichi. When competing bidders reached that level, Furuichi decided on the spot to offer two events to benefit KASPER.

It wasn't the only spontaneous donation of the evening. In the midst of the live auction, Greg Hess walked up to offer a sailboat cruise, which was quickly sold for $600.

The funds will help fund all of next summer's recreation program for children, "and maybe the next summer," Ballance said.

Emcee Melody Bond said that last summer KASPER provided more than 750 hours of programs for students.

"Our potential impact is limitless," Bond said. "We believe that every child can succeed with adult support. On behalf of the children, we ask you to invest."

Bond and Ballance both said the effort and support for the Barnacle Ball was gratifying.

"I thought the support from the community was just astounding," Ballance said. "We had their help with auction items, supplies, and time, as well as the support of our husbands."

The official thank-you list for the Barnacle Ball program featured more than 100 donors, led by platinum sponsor Sutter Coast Hospital and gold supporter Curry Health Network.

The Barnacle Ball Committee included Darryn and Britt Balance, Tiffany and Paul Hicks, Raina and Joe Stoops, Heather and Brent Hodges, Melody and Lee Bond and Carolyn Milliman.

Raina Stoops, Darryn Ballance, Tiffany Hicks and Milliman comprise the KASPER board, according to Ballance. All their terms are expiring soon. She said anyone interested in volunteering for the board can call 541-661-5437 or write KASPER at P.O. Box 772, Brookings, OR 97415.