Pink Ball celebrates 50 years of giving

The 50th Annual Pink Ball, sponsored by the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Auxiliary, will return to its roots honoring St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony, both Italian saints. St. Francis is the founder of the Franciscan Orders of which The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis are a part, and St. Anthony is the namesake of the medical center. The Pink Ball will be Saturday, Jan. 31, in Cliffbreakers Conference Center with cocktails at 6:15 p.m. and dinner at 7:15 p.m.

“We wanted to honor the hospital’s traditions and have chosen the theme ‘A Tuscan Affaire’ for the event,” Vinnie Farrel, co-chairman with Kathy LaMonicz, said. “Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, is located in the Umbria region of Italy,” Farrell explained. The decorations and other aspects of the Pink Ball, including the seven-to-nine-course Tuscan dinner, will coordinate with the theme. Music for dancing, beginning at 9 p.m., will be provided by the Chicago-based Gold Coast Orchestra. “We are planning the ‘party of the century,’” Farrell added.

Adding to the event is a raffle with the prize a week’s stay for four in an Italian villa in the Tuscany region. In addition to the villa, the raffle winner will also receive $2,500 to cover travel expenses. Raffle tickets are $25 each with three for $50 and are on sale now in the hospital gift shop and through Pink Ball committee members.

Proceeds from the 2004 Pink Ball will benefit the Ambulatory Care Center, opened in August 2001. The OSF Saint Anthony Auxiliary pledged $1 million to the project and has already surpassed the half-million dollar mark as a result of previous Pink Balls and other Auxiliary projects. Recent Pink Balls have netted more than $100,000 for the hospital.

Invitations to the Pink Ball will be mailed in late December. Reservations are $350 per couple, or $175 per person. Those who wish to be added to the invitation list can call the OSF Saint Anthony Foundation Office at (815) 395-5346.

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