Women’s Service League presents ‘A Night in White’

Published 5:27 pm Thursday, January 16, 2014

Photo courtesy of Nicole Coar

Photo courtesy of Nicole Coar

BENTON HARBOR­—For those in search of an elegant evening of dinner and dancing in support of a worthy cause, the Women’s Service League will be presenting its 55th Annual Charity Ball, “A Night in White,” on Saturday, Feb. 8.

“It’s a great night out in February, and it’s a little something different to do,” said Deb Akins, chair of the charity ball committee. “This year, the charity that we have chosen to support is the HERBIE Clinic.”

“As a co-administrator of the clinic, it is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart,” Akins said.

“The HERBIE Clinic is named after the late Dr. Herb Atkinson, a well-known, caring and compassionate local doctor,” Akins said. “It provides medical care for people who slip through the cracks, those who don’t have private health insurance or government assistance. Many of them do work, but for various reasons, they don’t qualify for insurance or any assistance.”

Housed in the Salvation Army in Benton Harbor, Mich., the clinic was founded by Dr. Sherry O’Donnell and Sandra Lemley four years ago.

Dr. O’Donnell and Dr. Michael Mayle are currently the co-directors of the facility, which is run entirely by volunteers. Therefore, all donations go directly to caring for the patients.

“We’ve had people who used the clinic when they needed it and then came back later as volunteers,” Akins said.

“Dr. Atkinson’s wife, Frieda, and his daughter, Essie, attend the clinic each month as well,” Akins said. “They will be attending the ball as our as guests of honor. Majors Mike and Ruth McKee of the Salvation Army will also be guests of honor.”

The ball, which will be held at the Berrien Hills Golf Club, 690 W. Napier Ave. in Benton Harbor, Mich., will be a formal affair with suggested attire being white dresses; black tie is optional.

“It’s a wonderful event for current Women’s Service League members and our supporters to connect and enjoy an evening of dancing and delicious food – all while supporting and showcasing an amazing local charity like the HERBIE clinic,” said Nicole Coar, president of the club.

“Last year’s ball was fabulous,” Akins said. “It’s a really elegant, well-done event, but it’s also fun because it’s not stuffy. This year, it’s a white-themed evening, so decorations are going to be all white, like a winter wonderland.”

The evening will begin with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., with dinner served at 7:30 p.m.

“Ray Mays will be doing the in-house catering for the event,” Akins said. “It will be a plated dinner and there will also be hors d’oeuvres.”

“Our entertainment will be Mike Struwin, a guitarist who is a well-known and popular musician. He’ll be playing during the cocktail and the dinner hour,” Akins said. “Starting at 9 p.m., Mark Durocher, a D. J. from Midwest Family Broadcasting, will be playing music for us and keeping the dance floor full.”

“We will also have a photo booth and a silent auction,” Akins said.

Tickets for the event are $80 per person or $150 per couple, and half of the ticket price is tax-deductable. Tax forms will be available at the event. RSVPs will be accepted by Deb Akins at (269) 921-3427 or duakins@comcast.net. More information about the event and the Women’s Service League is also available online at www.womensserviceleague.org.