The Country Club of Lansing was the place to be on Saturday, evening Nov. 20, as the Sparrow Hospital Guild held their 85th Annual Charity Ball. Think about that for a minute, the same event held each and every year since 1925, hosted by the same organization. That is absolutely unheard of, yet the Guild, as they are simply known, has done just that. Their ball has sustained in the best of times and in the worst of times, yet they have always been there, true to their mission. Let’s talk about this incredible group of women volunteers in the community whose only mission is to raise money for Sparrow Hospital. There are 50 active members of the Guild, never more, sometimes one or two less. They are supported by many associate and inactive members, many of whom still attend meetings and work on events. Each Guild member was nominated by a current member, approved by the Guild Board and voted on by the membership, the way it has been done for as long as anyone can remember. I only tell you this to help you have a little better understanding of how this group of dedicated community volunteers is able to sustain this wonderful event steeped in tradition. Many Guild members are carrying on a family tradition, passed down from mothers to their daughters and granddaughters. It is truly an honor to be a Sparrow Hospital Guild member and a part of their storied legacy. This year’s event, as it has been for 85 years, was the kick-off to the social season. The 2010 Charity Ball committee out did themselves, which is not an easy thing to do. Tables a glow with candle light, set with handmade burgundy and gold pinstriped table toppers. On each table was a beautiful fall flower arrangement giving the ballroom an air of elegance and style. As each guest entered into an evening filled with friends, fun and dancing, they were personally greeted by the Guild President Karen Hubbard and 2010 Charity Ball Chair Jan Hines. Music was provided by J&J Sounds (John Dale Smith and Janine Novenske Smith) with a special vocal performance by Evan Pinsonnault. It is a good feeling to know that we live in a community where volunteerism is very much alive. Being a part of this special evening truly sets the tone for the season of giving. The Sparrow Hospital Guild — through the generosity of its sponsors, benefactors and donors — will continue its commitment to the Sparrow Cancer Center, Radiation Oncology. I hope next year you will make the Sparrow Guild’s Charity Ball a part of your tradition.
Deborah Ginsburg is a community volunteer and is employed with Sparrow Health System.