by Chrysa Smith

What do you call lunch with 300 ladies? Well, usually, loud. But not this past Friday. Because it was the 42nd Annual Doylestown Hospital Spring Luncheon and Fashion Show. And with a table full of friends and members of my Zumba class, well, who would notice loud?

Held at the Spring Mill Country Club in Ivyland, PA, there was what you might expect: beautiful facilities, tasty luncheon, fashionable women. We ate, drank and watched age-appropriate (our age!) models showcase fashions from two area boutiques: Intrigue/Buckingham, PA and Berta Sawyer/Jenkintown, PA. Some were striking, others trendy and a few, even inspiring.

I expected a lovely ‘ladies day out’, which it indeed was. But it was so much more. It was a call to service.

For 42 years, the fashion show (run by the hospital’s medical auxiliary) has raised funds to help support needs at Doylestown Hospital–a hospital run by the Village Improvement Association–aka women (which explains it’s lovely interior and bed-side manner). But more than that, the VIA is unique–the only women’s group in the country that runs a community hospital. Started in 1895 with 14 women, the group now boasts over 400 members.

The Auxiliary, also all women, raised well over $10k at last year’s fashion show/luncheon, which was used to purchase sleeper chairs for the maternity ward. Now, husbands have no escape or separation anxiety. They can stay with their growing family while wife/mother recuperates and readies for a new life.

While the practical side of me said, ‘Here I am at a fashion show, while I have so much work that could be done at home. Have I become the stereotypical lady who lunches?’ the truth of the matter is that I was doing work—-as were the other 299 ladies there. Raising money is work. Raising money for a good cause is good work.

For generations, women have moved mountains, forged history and simply gotten things done, mostly in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ manner. Charities and fund-raising projects are the venues for change—change that might be put on a back burner, or might not happen at all, without dedicated women.

If you haven’t participated in a charity event, it’s not only a great way to meet people, it’s great fun for a great cause, with the added benefit of making you feel like you made a difference. Check out your local charity events or read more about the VIA at And if you’re in the Bucks County area, stay tuned for more info about proceeds from this year’s show and hold the date
info for next year’s event.

Are you involved in running or participating in a charity fundraiser? What is it and what has it done for you?