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There will be a number of changes for the fifteenth annual celebration of the Mercy Health Foundation of Northwest Arkansas’ Charity Ball. The most remarkable change is perhaps the addition of a headline entertainer – RCA recording artist Martina McBride.

“Mercy is grateful to have Martina McBride serve as the headliner for this year’s Charity Ball,” said Clark Ellison, Chief Development Officer for the Mercy Health Foundation of Northwest Arkansas. “The Mercy Charity Ball event is the premier soiree of the year in the Northwest Arkansas, not to mention our primary fundraising event. The changes we are making will only assure that the event offers an unparalleled experience for those who attend and continue to provide support for the mission of Mercy.”

Indeed, Martina McBride works with a variety of charities. She is currently the spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, as well as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and National Spokeswoman for the Tulsa Domestic Violence and Intervention Services. Every year since 1995, she has hosted the Celebrity Auction, for the YWCA of Middle Tennessee. In 2004 she worked with the Kids Wish Network to fulfill the wish of a young girl dying from Muscular Dystrophy. She was awarded the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award in 2003.
Recently, McBride explained that educating girls and women on domestic violence is something she works on at home with her own daughters.

Despite racking up 16 million in sales, 22 top 10 singles—including six number ones with crossover success in multiple genres—numerous CMA and ACM awards and a slew of national television appearances in her illustrious 15-year career, Martina continues to scale new artistic heights. Many performers might hesitate to tinker with such success, but not this one.

As for this year’s Mercy Charity Ball, there will also be a silent auction. Many of the items in the live auction are unique experiences, including:

  • A Trip To Obama’s Inauguration – On November 4, America voted in a historic election and Barack Obama was elected to the 44th president of the United States of America. The winner of this trip will be the personal guest of U.S. Rep. John Boozman at Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2009. They will also receive a guided tour by the congressman of Washington D.C. landmarks, including the White House and U.S. Capitol building.
  • Revlon Celebrity Trip for 2 to New York – This trip will include: airfare for two, hotel for two nights , $200 spending cash, two tickets to a Broadway show, makeover with free product by a fashion magazine make-over artist, attendance at the Revlon Run/Walk for Cancer Research (5km run through Central Park), and VIP admittance to the Celebrity tent.
  • A Trip for 6 People to Napa Valley – This trip will include tours of the Foster Wine Estates and include dinner at one of the castles on their property.
  • Anheuser-Busch Brew Master Dinner for 8 – This auction item includes a meal prepared by an executive chef with a Brew Master present to explain the beers for each course. Tours of the brewery and Grants Farm will also be part of this one-of-a-kind trip.

Also new this year is an opportunity sponsored by Mercy Health Plans for any participant of the Charity Ball to win two round trip airline tickets on either Delta or American airlines to anywhere in the continental United States or Canada and a stay in a Hotel Hyatt.

“We are looking forward to infusing more excitement than ever before into our Charity Ball,” Linda Phillips, Major Giving Coordinator. “We can guarantee that it will be a night to remember. We are thankful for New Creature and Sony Music Entertainment for working together to bring Martina McBride to our charity event.”

The Mercy Health Foundation Charity Ball will be held at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers on Saturday, December 6, 2008. Tickets and sponsorships are still available by calling the Foundation office at 479-338-2934 or visit www.mercy4u.com/foundation. Tickets are $200 a piece. A table for 10 is $2,000. Sponsorships are also
available.

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