Charity Ball to celebrate its long history, contributions during 100th event

Last year’s ball generated $20,000, she said. This year’s Charity Ball will recognize the past Middletown Area Federation of Women’s Club Federation presidents as this year’s honorary chairs. This year’s theme is “Reflections” and will be held Dec. 5 at the Crown Palaza on Central Avenue. This will be the […]

Last year’s ball generated $20,000, she said. This year’s Charity Ball will recognize the past Middletown Area Federation of Women’s Club Federation presidents as this year’s honorary chairs. This year’s theme is “Reflections” and will be held Dec. 5 at the Crown Palaza on Central Avenue.

This will be the 100th and final Charity Ball, but provisions have been made to assure funds continue to support women’s health at Atrium. Ten years ago, Sack said the club’s membership voted to assist local women instead of providing funds to purchase medical equipment.

The fundraiser provides dollars that are placed in an endowment fund administered by Atrium Medical Center Foundation for Women’s Health Services. These funds provide screenings and tests such as mammograms to local women who need support to cover their costs, Sack said.

The Premier Health Campus-Middletown has helped more than 500 women since it was vested 10 years ago. The Women’s Endowment Fund has $250,000, in part due to outside support from other fundraising events sponsored by other organizations.

Stautberg said it’s common for community events to last 10, 15, even 25 years. But rarely 100 years. He called the group’s longevity “very impressive” and said the hospital will be “forever grateful” for the financial contributions.

While the Charity Ball has seen its share of changes — the event has been held at the Elks, the Manchester Inn, Pendleton Art Center, Miami University Middletown and now the Crown Palaza Banquet Center — nothing compares to the adjustments the committee had to make this year.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s Charity Ball will be restyled as a dinner and program honoring the 11 past living Federation presidents. There will be no dancing, no casino games and no silent auction.

Past Middletown Area Federation of Women's Club presidents are looking forward to this year's 100th Charity Ball. Front row, from left:  Jackie Sullivan, Mary Maurer, Virginia Jenkins, Carolyn Parmer and Frances Sack. Back row: Barb Brown, Marilyn Goughenour, LaVonne Michael, Miriam Johnson and Ruthanne Cassidy. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Past Middletown Area Federation of Women’s Club presidents are looking forward to this year’s 100th Charity Ball. Front row, from left: Jackie Sullivan, Mary Maurer, Virginia Jenkins, Carolyn Parmer and Frances Sack. Back row: Barb Brown, Marilyn Goughenour, LaVonne Michael, Miriam Johnson and Ruthanne Cassidy. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Sack, who with her husband, Dan, either chaired or co-chaired the ball in 1999, 2005, 2013, 2014 and 2020, said it’s amazing the event has lasted 100 years. She said the committee announced the 85th Charity Ball, held in 2005, would be the last. But the Ball was so successful the membership voted to have 15 more and reach 100.

“We all feel awesome about what we have accomplished,” said Sack, 75. “But it’s time for us to stop.”

Sack said there was a time when there were 55 women’s clubs with 650 members in the area. Now, she said, those numbers have dwindled to six clubs and 40 active members.

The Federation organization will dissolve in April 2021 due to lack of members, Sack said. The group hopes the next generation will continue this holiday event at some time.

The center for this year’s event can seat up to 600 people, so social distancing for this event will be in effect, Sack said. Presenting sponsors for this year’s event are Premier Health/Atrium Medical Center, Start Skydiving and Middletown TubeWorks. Media Sponsor will be the Journal News.

This year’s Honorary Chairs and their years as Federation president:

Virginia Jenkins: 1981-1983, 2016-2021

Jackie Sullivan: 1988-1990

Mary Maurer 1970-1972.

Marilyn Goughenour: 1994-1996

Wanda Miller Couch: 1996-1998

Frances Sack: 1997-1999

Miriam Johnson: 2000-2002

Carolyn Parmer: 2004-2006

Ruthanne Cassidy: 2009-2011

LaVonne Michael: 2011-2013, 2016

Barbara Brown: 2013-2015

HOW TO GO:

WHAT: 100th Charity Ball

WHEN: Dec. 5. Registration starts at 6 p.m. with a social hour with social distancing with a cash bar. Holiday music will be provided by Dick Watson. The dinner starts at 7:15 p.m. and will be prepared by Kirsten Spicer, Two Women in a Kitchen with the program to follow.

WHERE: Crown Palaza Banquet Center, 5049 Central Ave., Middletown

HOW MUCH: $65 per person or $130 per couple and Grand Patrons $175 or a table of 8 for $500; the cost includes dinner. You can pay online go to: middletowncharityball.eventbrite.com or by check that should be made out to the 100th Charity Ball and mailed to: Michael Clarey, 4722 Longford Drive, Middletown, OH 45042.

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