An elegant evening for a worthy cause

Trinity Hospice Ball is Feb. 1

-Messenger file photo
Shannon McQuillen, with the Trinty Foundation, shows Phyllis Koester, of Fort Dodge, how to bid on her smart phone during the 2019 Hospice Ball held at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites.

The 28th annual Trinity Hospice Ball will be Feb. 1 at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, 1518 Third Ave. N.W.

The ball begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m. and dancing at 8:30 p.m. A silent auction will run throughout the evening.

Tickets are $50 for individuals. A reserved table for four is $350, a reserved table for eight is $650 and a corporate sponsorships are available for $1,200. A corporate sponsorship includes a presence on the mobile bidding website, a reserved table for eight, drink tickets and special recognition at the event.

UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center serves approximately 400 families each year needing hospice service: some at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home, some at their own homes, some at assisted living and some in other long-term care facilities.

Hospice is instrumental to the end of life process, said Carol Grannon, senior director of development for the Trinity Foundation.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Brian Grannon, at left, along with his sister, Terry Jorgensen, both of Fort Dodge, enjoy some conversation during the 2019 Hospice Ball at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites.

“It allows sons and daughters to be sons and daughters and not caregivers,” she said. “It allows husbands and wives to be husbands and wives and not caregivers. And it allows the grieving process to start sooner rather than later.”

The Trinity Hospice Ball is more than a fundraiser, Grannon said.

“It’s a celebration of life,” she said. “It’s an acknowledgement of loss. And it’s a coming together of family members and caregivers, it’s a chance for them to reunite and kind of reconnect.”

The ball also raises awareness of the hospice program at Trinity and the options available to members of the community, Grannon said.

Each year, the event nets about $50,000, she said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Natalie Dunn at left along with Amanda Gregerson, both of Fort Dodge, look over silent auction items during the 2019 Hospice Ball held at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites in Fort Dodge.

“In as much as our goal is to raise money — and it’s important to raise money because it provides for a lot of extras for our hospice program — really … it’s about awareness and about just celebrating that life and acknowledging the loss and it is about the fundraising,” she said.

Co-chairs for the event are Susie and Ed Birnbaum, and Christy and John Nielsen.

Ed Birnbaum feels that TRMC’s hospice program is a vital resource for the community.

“It’s extremely important for the entire community of Fort Dodge, simply because of the service that the hospice house provides,” he said.

The Birnbaums and the Nielsens know firsthand what it’s like to have a close friend supported in their final months and days in hospice care, Ed Birnbaum said.

“On behalf of John and Christy Nielsen, myself and my wife, we think it’s a great program,” he said. “We think that the hospice ball is a great event and we’re extremely honored to be asked to be co-chairs for the 28th annual ball.”

During the dinner, there will be a short program that will include a video featuring photos of hospice patients from the past year.

Throughout the night, there will be a silent auction. The Trinity Foundation will be using mobile bidding for the online silent auction. Grannon said those who cannot attend the event will still be able to bid online at www.unitypoint.org/fortdodge/2020-hospice-ball.

For those at the ball who may not have a smartphone, a “personal shopper” with an iPad will be available to place bids.

Some items in the silent auction include car detailing certificates, meat packages, a week’s stay at a condo in Colorado, designer handbags, Air Choice One tickets and more.

Raffle tickets for seven prizes will also be on sale before and during the event, and winners need not be present to win, Grannon said. Raffle prizes include a $500 Hy-Vee gift card, a $250 Target gift card and $50 Casey’s gift cards.

The raffle tickets are one for $10 or three for $25, and can also be purchased online at www.unitypoint.org/fortdodge/2020-hospice-ball.

During dinner, the Debbie Hofbauer Compassionate Caregiver Award will be presented.

“Debbie Hofbauer was the first patient to die at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home and her family established this award in her memory, so we’ve been awarding it annually to a hospice caregiver for the level of care that they provide,” Grannon said.

The Trinity Foundation requests attendees RSVP by Jan. 25. Tickets to the ball can also be purchased online. The dress code for the event is cocktail attire.


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