Sparrow Hospital Guild presents the 87th Annual Charity Ball Any event that has had an 87-year history must be the “Social Event” of the season. Charity Ball has certainly had a long and impressive run, guided each and every year by the members of Sparrow Hospital Guild, whose sole mission is raising funds to support Sparrow Hospital. Persevering through world war; economic depression and bad weather, somehow there has always been a ball. The venue has moved several times throughout the years; but this black tie, sit down dinner dance is a main stay event in the greater Lansing area. More than 300 guests attend Charity Ball annually, enabling the Guild the ability to provide continued support for their projects supporting the health of women, children and cancer patients. At this year’s ball, Stella Cash, Vice President of the Sparrow Foundation accepted a $150,000 check from Guild President Nancy Bobinski for the Guild’s newest project; refurbishing/redesigning the diagnostic waiting room in the Sparrow Professional building. Now that you have a little history of Charity Ball, let me tell you how difficult it can be to keep an event like this fresh and fun. The chair of the 87th Annual Charity Ball was Rhonda Zimmerman. Rhonda, along with her committee of Sparrow Guild members, put on a specular ball. The event was held at The Henry Center at the University Club of Michigan State University. Nearly every seat was filled; as guests sipped the signature cocktail of the evening; the “Guildini.” The ball room twinkled with candle light and amazing fall décor. So what made this evening different from all previous Charity Balls you ask? Not the food; décor or program … It was the entertainment!! Kimmie Horne and her 10-piece band were in the house! Hailing from Detroit, Kimmie and her band have a sound that must be heard to be believed! I don’t think that Charity Ball guests have ever been treated to such an evening. The musicians have performed all over the world, from London to Las Vegas. Their sound and showmanship is incredible. And, if you think her last name sounds familiar, you are right. Kimmi is the niece of singing legend Lena Horne. Performing classy blends of jazz, pop, rhythm and blues, Kimmi and her band provided a great sound, and the crowd danced the night away. I have been attending the Charity Ball for almost 25 years and I had never seen the dance floor so packed! Then just when I thought things might be going to wind down, Kimmi came down off the stage, with her backup singers; and band members in tow; they joined with guests to form a conga line. This has to be a first at Charity Ball … they snaked across the floor and through the tables adding dancers as they went. I hope you were one of guests at Charity Ball, but if not, I encourage you to attend next year. Not only was it a fabulous event, but the proceeds from the evening go to support the Guild’s ongoing projects at Sparrow Hospital, just as they have for 87 years and let’s hope for at least another 87.
Deborah Ginsburg is a community volunteer and is employed with Sparrow Health System.