Twin Cedars goes Behind the Mask

Published 8:02 pm Monday, February 4, 2019

Behind the Mask candidates raised $78,944 this year for Twin Cedars. Overall, the event raised $104,868, including ticket sales.

On Saturday, Mike Angstadt and Katie Massey Jones were crowned King and Queen of Mask in recognition of being the male and female candidates to raise the most money for Twin Cedars. Jones raised the most money for any one candidate in the history of the event — topping the previous highest amount of $22,500, which was raised by Tyler McCoy in 2018.

“Katie Jones came to win, and she was determined to go hard or go home, so she came in with $28,490.09,” said Jennifer Shawa, director of development and marketing for Twin Cedars

Angstadt raised $8,406, and he attributed his success at Behind the Mask to the community’s support.

“If you see a box turtle on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself,” Angstadt said. “The reason why I am wearing this robe and this crown and holding the scepter is because I have so many people who believed in making have this honorary title for the evening and believe even more in Twin Cedars — the wonderful ministry that we have to help children and families.”

Angstadt is a former Twin Cedars executive director who had a hand in developing the Behind the Mask fundraiser. All funds raised at the annual Behind the Mask event remain in Troup County, where they are used to help local children and families.

“Every program gets some, so it’ll be helping teen moms,” Executive Director Sheri Cody said. “It’ll be helping with Safe Families. It’ll be helping with the boys at Bradfield, Darkness to Light training, the council that we do, all the services that we do for children — whether it is advocating for them or treating them or providing them with a place to live or helping to prevent them from drinking or suicide or getting pregnant. All of those are things that our program does.”

Because Twin Cedars relies heavily on grant funding, donations from the community also help fill gaps in what different grants make possible.

“It provides supplemental funding to provide things for our children that the state funding doesn’t allow,” Shawa said. “We like to use the community’s support to provide things like experiences and campus updates and to be able to provide the sort of home and services for the kids that are top notch rather than bare bones, and the community provides that.”

This year, the event featured fewer candidates than last year, but Cody said that didn’t show in the amount raised for Twin Cedars.

“We are at $78,000 [raised by candidates], so that tells you that it wasn’t a two man show,” Cody said.

Since the kickoff in January, candidates have hosted bake sales, a barbecue, a whiskey tasting, sold raffle tickets and partnered with local businesses to raise funds, and in doing so, they accomplished one of Twin Cedars’ biggest goals of informing the community and getting the community involved.

“We love that the community has a part in those services for the kids,” Shawa said. “It is really a wonderful thing to share responsibility with our community and to see them be so excited to be a part of it.”

Shawa said that she believes the impact of Twin Cedars programs can be clearly seen throughout the community, and both Shawa and Cody noted how LaGrange residents step forward during the annual fundraiser.

“LaGrange really steps up in terms of helping the community,” Cody said. “Everybody gets behind the candidates and supports the candidates and supports Twin Cedars, and we appreciate it so much because Twin Cedars has 25 program in five different cities, but there isn’t a city that supports us as big as LaGrange does.”

While Twin Cedars’ biggest fundraiser of the year is now complete, those over the program said that help is still welcomed.

“There are plenty of other opportunities for people to get involved, and we would love for them to give us a call,” Shawa said.

“We always find places to plug people in if they want to get involved, and we always love their support throughout the year, not just the Mardi Gras season.”