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Sparrow's 84th Charity Ball

Not many events in any community have the long and storied tradition of Lansing’s Charity Ball. For 84 years, the Charity Ball has survived war, depression, bad weather and any number of events, thanks to the work of 50 women who make up the Sparrow Guild, with the single goal of raising money to help support Sparrow Hospital.

This year’s event was no different. Despite an economy that is struggling to recover, this group of determined community volunteers put together yet another outstanding event. Funds raised at this year’s Charity Ball will be used to support cancer services at Sparrow Hospital.

The Lansing Country Club has hosted the Charity Ball for many years. The Club is always a gem in our community, but during the holidays, there is something magical about it.

As the Club filled with guests, I couldn’t help reflecting on all the Guild members who have worked so hard over the past 84 years raising funds to support Sparrow Hospital; of all the daughters and granddaughters who now are Guild members, carrying on the tradition of service.

I stood in the back of the main dining room for a few minutes, watching as the Club began to fill with hundreds from our community. Everyone was excited to greet friends and neighbors. As the room buzzed with conversation and dresses rustled, everyone found their tables and the evening was on its way.

The MSU Accafellows joined the Ball for the first time this year (what a surprise!). This group of MSU students provided quite a performance just as dinner was being served. The fabulous dinner was followed by dancing into the wee hours.

As the evening drew to a close, I couldn’t help wondering what makes this evening so special … is it the warm fire in the fireplace that greets you as you enter the Club? Is it the exquisite Christmas trees towering 20-plus feet in the air, flocked in white and decorated as only the Club can do? Maybe it’s the music provided by John Dale Smith-J&J Sounds coming from the main dining room.

No, it’s more than that; it’s that warm feeling gained from giving back to our community, that opportunity to help support a worthwhile cause, especially at the holiday season.

I hope that you will consider attending the 85th Charity Ball next year. I know I wouldn’t miss it. Contact the Sparrow Foundation at or any Sparrow Guild member for information.