Family synonymous with Middletown to be Charity Ball’s honorary chairs

A family synonymous with Middletown and the Charity Ball has been named honorary chairs of this year’s event.

The Thatcher Family – Sheree Thatcher Trent, Matt and Kathie Wassenich and Jennifer Thatcher — will serve as honorary chairs of the 98th annual Charity Ball when it takes place Dec. 1 at Miami University Middletown Johnston Hall-Miriam Knoll G. Room.

This year’s theme is “Around the World in 98 Days” and Tom and Linda Fisler, longtime Middletown residents, are serving as chairs.

Perry Thatcher, the father of Sheree, Kathie and Jennifer, attended and financially supported many Charity Balls, his family said. He died in 2010 from pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

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Wassenich called being an honorary chair “quite an honor.”

Ten years ago, Wassenich and Jennifer Becker served as co-chairs of the 88th Charity Ball, and at that time, she wanted her father honored since he was diagnosed with cancer. But the committee had already selected an honorary chair.

“We feel that our father is being honored this year more than us girls,” Wassenich said. “This is an honor for him.”

His three daughters have been active in the Middletown community, and they helped support a mural of their father that hangs on the side of the Cincinnati State Middletown building.

“We want to keep his legacy going,” Wassenich said. “This is just like we had hoped.”

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Sheree Thatcher Trent, 63, a lifetime Middletown resident, worked at Middletown Federal before leaving that job to be a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Bruce Garrett, who died 2000, had a son and daughter. She volunteered in the office at elementary schools and tutored while her children were in school until a full time secretary position in the Technology Department at Middletown City Schools was available.

Sheree and Jay Trent married in 2012. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2015 and died last year.

As a teenager, she volunteered at Doty house (now Abilities First) and was involved with the Ohio Balloon Challenge for several years.

Kathie Wassenich, 53, graduated from Middletown High School and Miami University. She was a stay-at-home mom until her children went to school and then she worked at US Bank and then The Chamber of Commerce.

Her husband, a native of Dayton, moved to Middletown after they married in 2000. He worked at Arthur Murray dance school and Priority Dispatch before retiring to rehab their home.

Jennifer Thatcher, 60, graduated from Middletown high school and attended Miami University. She worked for many years as a waitress at Bill Knapps and worked in accounting and payroll at Ample Industries, now Huhtamaki.

The annual Charity Ball 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 over 97 years by the Middletown Area Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Besides dinner and dancing, the Charity Ball will offer an opportunity to play Black Jack, Poker, Big 6 and Horse Race that will be staffed by Middletown Knights of Columbus Council No. 1610 dealers. There will also be a raffle and silent auction items. The evening will end at 11:30 p.m.


WHAT: 98th Middletown Charity Ball to benefit an endowment fund administered by Atrium Medical Center Foundation for Women's Health Services

WHEN: 6 p.m. Dec. 1

WHERE: Miami University Middletown Johnston Hall-Miriam Knoll G. Center

ENTERTAINMENT: Holiday music will be provided by Dick Watson and Kenneth Davis, and after-dinner dance music will be provided by All the Right Tunes

COST: $75 per person; tickets for local college students are $30

TICKETS: Order online here or by mailing a check, made out to 98th Charity Ball, to: Michael Clarey, 4722 Longford Drive, Middletown, OH 45042

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