They dance in spite of death.
In fact, the Trinity Hospice Ball is a celebration of life and a way to remember those who have died.
"The Hospice Ball is a celebration of the compassionate program and the long history of caring that Trinity Hospice has in Fort Dodge and the surrounding area," said Carol Grannon, development coordinator for Trinity Health Foundation. "The Hospice Ball celebrates loved ones we have lost and raises funds to benefit Trinity Hospice patients and families at home, in a care facility or at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home."
The ball is always the first Saturday in February. It begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., and dinner is served at 7 p.m. The menu includes roast beef, chicken Marsala, baby red potatoes and salad.
Taking a cue from Disney, the theme this year is "The circle of life, it moves us through despair and hope, through faith and love."
"We chose this because it describes our journey from birth to death and the fact that Trinity Hospice is an integral part of the circle of life," Grannon said.
If you go:
21st annual Trinity Hospice Ball
WHEN: 6 p.m. Feb. 2
WHERE: Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites
TICKETS: Reserved table for eight, $600; reserved table for four, $300; individual tickets, $40 through Jan. 25, $50 after Jan. 25. Send check and contact information, including telephone and address to: Trinity Health Foundation, Attn: Hospice Ball, 802 Kenyon Road, Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Gift cards from Hy-Vee, Mikos & Matt, and Casey's will be available as raffle prizes.
All of the proceeds raised stay in the community, Grannon said.
"We, a lot of times, have patients who can't pay for their care, who maybe don't have insurance or their care is not covered by insurance, so we use it to pay for uninsured or underinsured patients," she said.
It can also help pay for staff education, or to make a patient's birthday a bit more special.
"It's really not a very profitable part of the hospital, the hospice part," said Tim Doyle. "A lot of extra things hospice is able to do is because of our volunteers and our community support."
Tim and Susan Doyle and Mike and Jean Doyle are co-chairs for the ball this year. Their family aided Trinity when the Hospice Home was first being built, after the Doyle brothers' mother got cancer.
"She knew there would be a point in time where she needed hospice," Tim Doyle said. "We realized there's a lacking of some place where people who don't have a home can go to die, basically."
The family organized a walk to raise money and awareness to help develop the home.
Tim Doyle has served on the Trinity Health Foundation board for eight years, and Susan Doyle has volunteered with the hospice program for about five years.
"When you volunteer, you are there to help the hospice patients, and help their family," Susan Doyle said. "You're there to serve the family, but the rewards you get from serving are more than you can imagine."
All four Doyles have had parents who passed away and were aided by the hospice system.
"The hospice, the nurses, the whole staff, I just feel they are so unselfish," Susan Doyle said. "They come, they tend to the patient's needs no matter what time of day, if it's a holiday, a weekend, a weeknight."
Jean Doyle's mother was in hospice care for three weeks, and got close to her nurses during that time.
"Just knowing they were there, and pain management, we used them a lot for that. And just moral support," Jean Doyle said. "They came to the funeral. Their job does not end when they go home at night."
As co-chairs, the Doyles will speak at the ball.
"It's quite an honor. I didn't expect to be asked," Susan Doyle said.
"When we were asked, I thought, 'How could I ever say no?'" Jean Doyle said.
"It's always one of those things," Tim Doyle said. "Once you have someone go through hospice, there's a little spot in your heart for what it does for people and families."