This year’s Charity Ball chairs said they chose “An American Christmas Affair” as the theme because they “feel very fortunate to be Americans.”
Michael and Gail Clarey recently were named chairs of the 99th annual Charity Ball that will be held on Dec. 7 at Miami University Middletown Johnston Hall-Miriam Knoll G. Center.
The Clareys said the red, white and blue theme comes from the “realization of how thankful we are for having been born and raised in America, enjoying its liberty and freedom, its opportunities to pursue dreams, and worshipping in a free and open society.”
Michael and Gail Clarey grew up in Wichita and relocated to Middletown in 1988 as part of a new job opportunity.
She was born and raised in Wichita and earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Blackwell General Hospital in Oklahoma. She served as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. They were married in 1968 and started raising a family while she worked in nursing and her husband completed his college degree. Once the family started growing, she quit working to become a full-time mom until the children were grown.
After relocating to Middletown she immersed herself in organizations, holding offices in Middletown Area Federation of Women’s Club and Xi Lambda Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. She also started working at Flowers by Roger and became interested in floral and food preparation and opened Flour & Flower, a personalized catering service.
He joined the U.S. Navy and graduated from Wichita State University with a business degree. He went to work in Wichita for NCR’s Accounting Computer Division’s Plant Engineering. His career evolved into telecommunications and network engineering with NCR, Pizza Hut/Pepsico, Lexis-Nexis, and Reynolds & Reynolds. He was a managing partner in TelOptions, LLC, a private consulting firm serving Ohio corporations and government.
The Clareys have been married for 51 years and have six children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They are members of Holy Family Parish and Sons of Italy’s Frank D. Vitori Lodge, both in Middletown.
The Charity Ball fundraiser provides money for an endowment fund administered by Atrium Medical Center Foundation for Women’s Health Services. These funds provide screenings and tests, such as mammograms, to local women who need financial assistance.
The Charity Ball has raised more than $1 million.
Those who enjoy a casino challenge will find an opportunity to play black jack and poker that will be staffed by the Middletown Knights of Columbus Council No. 1610 dealers. There will also be a raffle and silent auction items.
Presenting co-sponsors are Start Skydiving and Middletown TubeWorks and the Media Sponsor is Cox Ohio Media.
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