Having a ball for vets

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When the idea for a veteran’s ball came up last year at the Ste. Anne’s Hospital Foundation, no one thought then the event celebrating the hospital’s 90th anniversary would become an annual affair. “The reason we did that was not to have an annual ball. But having said that, when we actually had the ball, we realized people were very taken by the idea of having a veteran’s ball,” said Ste. Anne’s Hospital assistant director of nursing, Lorraine la France, who is volunteering with the ball this year. “In the past, there was a negative connotation to war. But, it’s about the fact that people choose to put themselves in harm’s way so citizens or society can have a better life. That’s how we’re talking at it.”

About 180 people attended the 2007 edition of the ball, which raised about $22,000.

According to ball co-organizer Andrea Birchenough-la France, they’re hoping to expand it the second time around. “A lot of people enjoyed it and the board decided to make it an annual event,” Birchenough-la France said. “We’re hoping to make the event a bit bigger this year.”

Money raised from the ball goes toward improving the quality of life for the veterans at the hospital, who fought in historical wars like the Second World War and the Korean War and more recent ones, like Afghanistan.

According to la France, money raised by the Foundation has gone to renovate the Edith Temple house, where outpatients seeking treatment at the hospital and visiting relatives of the veterans can stay, and fund the new furniture in the new Remembrance Pavilion. “They all benefit from what the foundation can give to us,” she said.

The 2008 Ste. Anne’s Hospital Foundation Ball for the Benefit of our Veterans will take place at the St. Raphaël Golf Club in Île Bizard. Individual tickets are $160, and corporate tables are also available. There will be cocktails, dinner, an open bar, and dancing, with the 438 Tactical Helicopter Squad Band providing the tunes for the evening. For more information, call 514-457-8484, or e-mail info@sahfoundation.ca. For more on the Ste. Anne’s Hospital Foundation, visit www.sahfoundation.ca.

Organizations: Hospital Foundation, Edith Temple house, Raphaël Golf Club

Geographic location: Anne, Afghanistan, Île Bizard

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