Steve Strank thought he knew what to expect after organizing last July's Zombie Prom, to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
But this Saturday's "New Moon"-inspired, "Twilight" ball seems to be drawing a whole different crowd.
"I guess it's attracting more romantic people," said Strank, 28, of North Ogden. "But we want everybody to know you don't have to dress up like the 'Twilight' vampires. You can come as any kind of vampire."
Strank's wife, Trish, is the family's "Twilight" fan, he said. In a video they produced to promote the event, she's a Bella look-alike, and he's a poor stand-in for Edward.
"My hair's way too short, and too combed," he said.
So Strank wants men, especially, to know they can come as scary vamps if they want. Werewolves also are welcome, as are any monsters people want to invent. Non-monstrous formalwear is fine, as well.
"But about 90 percent of the people came as zombies to the Zombie Prom," he said. "We had zombies in ball gowns, zombies in regular clothes, zombie ballerinas ..."
The goal is to raise funds for the Salt Lake Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Trish Strank had an aunt born with the condition. She died at age 34, while training to be a nurse so she could make a difference to juvenile diabetes patients.
The Zombie Prom, and now Ogden's New Moon, a Twilight Ball, are a tribute to Trish's aunt, as well as a way to support the search for better treatment and a cure. All profits will be donated to the foundation.
So what's with the spooky-themed dances? Strank and his wife run Phantom FX, a special-effects makeup business, from their home. Clients include film companies and haunted houses.
"Dances are fun, and we wanted to put a spooky spin on it," he said.
More than 500 people attended last summer's Zombie Prom at Union Station.
"First we were worried no one would come, then we were overwhelmed," Strank said, with a laugh. "We had to upgrade to a bigger room. People had a blast."
As of Tuesday, about 100 tickets had been sold for the ball, he said. But if it goes like his last event, most tickets will sell at the door.
The ball, an alcohol-free event, will feature music provided by a deejay; catered food, mostly desserts, including a "blood" fountain of white chocolate tinted red; a photographer; door prizes; and "Twilight" vendors offering shirts, jewelry and airbrush tattoos, among other things.
"This week has been insane, but the ball is going to be a lot of fun," Shrank said. "We can hardly wait."
l WHAT: Ogden's New Moon, a Twilight Ball
l WHEN: 7-11 p.m. Saturday
l WHERE: Ben Lomond Hotel, 2510 Washington Blvd., Ogden
l TICKETS: $15, $20/couples; $8/age 6-11; younger attend free. At the door, or through www.utahvampires.com/tickets.htm.