The Hope Ball is one of the most elegant nights in Little Rock, but its reach extends well past the lines of Pulaski County. The gala is the signature fundraiser of the 20th Century Clubs Lodge, an organization that touches the lives of cancer patients and their families throughout the state and beyond.
Teresa Clow of Alexander became a volunteer with the organization 10 years ago after one of her best friends passed away from cancer. The mission of the 20th Century Club is to provide no-cost temporary lodging to financially needy cancer patients who are receiving outpatient chemotherapy and radiation treatment at medical facilities in central Arkansas.
Teresa says she remains involved because she loves providing comfort in a time where things might not otherwise feel very comfortable. “I love the feeling of being able to comfort a person by listening to their stories,” she says. “Fighting cancer is a fight for survival. It’s a physically and emotionally draining journey full of many unknowns. The patients come to Little Rock to receive chemo treatment, which is enough to deal with even without the added stress of being away from home and family. Knowing that I can help make a difference by being there to offer any comfort is such an honor.”
Teresa is delighted to serve as the 2019 Hope Ball co-chair with Angela Moody. She also currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors as the marketing vice president, which goes in line with her day job. She owns a full-service advertising agency, Advanced Advertising and Production of Arkansas. Over her years of service, Teresa has been on the Auction Committee, Corporate Sponsor Committee, and PR Committee.
And Arkansas isn’t the only place benefiting from the 20th Century Club.“We not only have served all 75 counties in Arkansas, but we also have served 26 different states at zero cost to the patient and caregiver,” Teresa says.
The 20th Century Club directly serves patients and their families to provide “hope away from home.” When a patient has to travel miles from home to receive cancer treatment, part of their support system can be lost as they are far from the comforts of home. They find themselves missing a big part of their life and livelihood. The Lodge helps bridge that gap by providing a place to stay, healthy meals and a community of support. All is provided at no cost.
According to its website, patients are placed at the Lodge via referral from a social worker at their treatment facility. Patients are housed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The average patient stay is 40 nights, but 26 percent of patients will stay 50 nights or longer, Teresa says. Patient programs include morning smoothies, served each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; Tuesday dinners provided by Club members; Wednesday dinners prepared by patients and shared together; and Thursday dinners before Bingo game night. Healthy snacks are available daily for patients and caregivers.
In addition to members of the 20th Century Club, who volunteer their time for patients and caregivers staying at the Lodge, the organization leads a group of young volunteers called Angels of Hope. This group was established in 2008 to mentor and encourage high school juniors to volunteer in the community. The program strives to promote an attitude of service above self in teenagers. It teaches cancer awareness, encourages volunteer work and inspires girls to be leaders.
Each year the organization accepts applications for girls going into the 11th grade to join the Angels of Hope program. Teresa says the girls may apply from any school. Applications are accepted each year in April. Each “Angel” is responsible for achieving at least 25 hours of volunteer service. Their volunteer hours are earned through activities at the Lodge, CARTI and other cancer-related events. Finally, each Angel in the program is presented the night of the Hope Ball.
The organization also continuously accepts new members, Teresa says. Those applications will be accepted starting in February.
For those curious about the 20th Century Club’s Lodge, Clow encourages them to attend the Hope Ball. “It is a wonderful evening of dinner, dancing and presentation of the Hope Ball Angels. It is the only time each year our organization asks for financial support to cover the operating expenses of the Lodge.”
To purchase tickets to the Hope Ball, or to find out more on how to become involved in the 20th Century Club, visit www.hopeawayfromhome.org