“Giving Hope.” 

That’s the theme of this year’s Hope Ball, a formal gala held by the 20th Century Club. Far from a night of superfluous appeal, this annual event champions the 20th Century Club’s mission: to provide no-cost temporary housing for cancer patients receiving treatment in Little Rock. 

This occasion will encompass all sorts of goodies, including live and silent auctions and dancing to the sounds of Tragikly White. There will also be multiple opportunities to give of yourself and of your wallets to the 20th Century Club.

We caught up with co-chairs Lisa Wright and Sarah Wengel to talk more about the Hope Ball and why they’re so passionate about the cause. Read on.


Soirée: Tell us The 20th Century Club's Lodge and what makes it unique.

The 20th Century Club was founded in 1941 by a group of women who wanted to volunteer their time to help with the war effort. After the war, the women worked to support various philanthropic efforts. In the 1960’s, with the emergence of Little Rock as a hub for major cancer treatment facilities, the club adopted its current mission of providing no-cost housing to financially in-need cancer patients who needed to travel to Little Rock to receive their treatments. The Club opened its new Lodge in 2011, which can house 21 patients at a time, along with their caregivers. Our patients come from all over Arkansas, and so far 22 other states as well.  

Our organization is unique in the way our members are actively involved with our patients. We interact with our patients and caregivers on a weekly basis. We provide home-cooked meals, lead bingo night and whip up smoothies once a week. Our lodge is designed to encourage community activities and fellowship. Our patients and their caregivers enjoy the beautiful surroundings. It’s their “Hope Away from Home.”

S: How did you get connected with the Lodge?

Sarah Wengel: Friends shared their love for being involved in the 20th Century Club. I felt that their involvement was impactful to the patients, and I felt like I could make a difference in their lives.

Lisa Wright: As a cancer survivor, I wanted to help others who were facing similar challenges. Fortunately, my support network was close to me during my treatment. However, our patients don’t have that luxury. Many of them travel hundreds of miles to access the medical care they need. This isolates them from friends and family and often times leaves them feeling hopeless. I wanted to be a part of an organization that brings hope and encouragement to patients during this difficult time. 

S: What can you tell us about this year's Hope Ball?

The 2015 Hope Ball will be held Saturday, March 7 at 6:00 pm in the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center. There are several ways to contribute to our cause. We have been blessed to have such generous corporate sponsors. Their contributions go a long way in providing hope, and one way you can contribute is by purchasing tickets

On the evening of March 7, you can enjoy an amazing evening of entertainment and celebration. There will be a silent and live auction with several once in a lifetime auction items that you don’t want to miss, including a 3 carat total weight diamond pendant donated by Jones and Son. You may also participate in a raffle for a gorgeous bracelet. Finally, the fund-raising portion of the evening will conclude with the Fund-A-Night campaign. The Fund-A-Night campaign is a fundraising effort focused on the actual cost to house and feed a patient and caregiver for one night, which is $50.

S: What does the theme "Giving Hope" mean to you?

Giving Hope is our gift to our patients. By providing no-cost housing, meals, companionship and encouragement to our patients, they gain the strength they need to battle cancer.

S: How can readers get involved with the Lodge?

If you would like to get involved in providing hope away from home, you can do so by participating in our Fund-A-Night campaign or purchasing tickets to Hope Ball. It’s easy to give hope! Just visit our website.

Once again, the Hope Ball will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Statehouse Convention Center. To purchase tickets, click here.

To get involved with the 20th Century Club, click here.