Peace, Love, Centurions Nonprofit hosts Woodstock-inspired party

By Laura Latzko

Woodstock was a time to let loose, celebrate peace and love and enjoy music. The Centurions, a nonprofit organization in Tucson, seeks that same spirit with its “Peace, Love, Centurions – A Party 50 Years in the Making” celebration.

Also a celebration of the Centurions’ 50th anniversary, the event will take place on Saturday, April 27, at Kino Sports Complex.

Don Coleman, event chairman and a member of the Centurions’ board of directors, says the timing fit to do a Woodstock party.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to get a little nostalgic but also put on a great event for people,” Coleman says.

Each year, the Centurions hold themed costume parties to raise money for local charities. In past years, the parties have had ’60s beach bash, pajama party and “The Wizard of Oz” themes.

The group has been raising funds since its inception; the total is $8 million in 50 years, according to Coleman.

The Centurions are made up of 100 Tucson business leaders, who come together to help the community.

“We reach out to our customers to help us support the missions that make our community better…We’re trying to do our part and make Tucson a better place,” Coleman says.

This year, the party will benefit the Tucson Medical Center’s newborn intensive care unit, San Miguel High School’s corporate work study program, Youth on Their Own’s dropout prevention programs for homeless youth and the Boys to Men mentoring program.

Along with ticket sales, the organization will raise money through two raffles. The super raffle will cost $100 per ticket, and a smaller raffle will have tickets for one for $5 and five for $20. Participants can win cash prizes or items donated by local businesses.

Individual tickets come with a buffet dinner, a late-night snack, dessert, drink tickets, a cab ride home and unlimited soft drinks and water. VIP tickets have added bonuses such as access to a special lounge, appetizers and top-shelf cocktails.

Throughout the night, Trip California will play ’60s and ’70s music. Guests can also hang out in other spaces, including a nightclub and casino. The casino will offer traditional casino games such as craps, blackjack and roulette and poker, with prizes such as T-shirts.

Attendees are encouraged to dress up in their favorite hippie-inspired gear for a costume contest. The top three winners will receive special prizes.

Last year, attendees wore lifeguard and mermaid costumes for the beach bash, and during a Halloween party a few years ago, one couple donned “Beetlejuice” costumes.

Coleman says that guests often go all out with their costumes.

“We leave it up to the customer to create what it is, to have fun with it. It really is about having fun and doing it while you are raising money for great causes,” Coleman says.

more info

What: Peace, Love, Centurions:

A Party 50 Years in the Making

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, April 27

Where: Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way, Tucson

Cost: $95 for individual tickets, $170 individual tickets with added VIP pass

Info: 795.1071,