Going to a lot of parties is an occupational benefit of writing this column. I receive invitations to countless events and attend as many as possible so that I can accurately report on the civic and social scene of Eastern Jackson County.

Going to a lot of parties is an occupational benefit of writing this column. I receive invitations to countless events and attend as many as possible so that I can accurately report on the civic and social scene of Eastern Jackson County.

I am in the business of promoting charitable endeavors, celebrating individuals and organizations that contribute to the culture of compassion in EJC and sharing my impressions and opinions about the wide range of events that take place each year.

In my yearly round-up I went on record calling “Scopes for Hope,” a benefit for the Jackson County Free Health Clinic, the “best event of 2009,” and I stand by my statement. The PR-savvy event committee keenly capitalized on my proclamation and, for what it is worth, incorporated the quote in their marketing materials for 2010. It tickles me to have a line lifted from “Town & Gown,” but I guess I am a pretty credible authority when it comes to parties.

So what was it that made the 2009 “Scopes for Hope” earn my high praise? More than any other event that I attended last year, it met my personal criteria for a successful night out. First and foremost, it was fun. Driven by a committee that was willing to take some risks with the programming and entertainment, the event broke away from a familiar and, frankly, boring format. The evening was one that was full of surprises, not of the gimmicky variety, but delightful elements that were the result of clever planning and flawless execution.

The second key to success was the event committee’s evident devotion to the cause. From start to finish, the passionate volunteer committee took center stage and stepped in to fulfill every vital role from the registration table to the auctioneer. Positioned throughout the ballroom, volunteers and entertainers were easy to spot in their surgical scrubs and expertly worked the crowd. Every volunteer on hand looked happy to be there and spoke knowledgeably and enthusiastically about the Free Health Clinic and their personal commitment to it.

Essential to any fundraising endeavor is a vital mission, and the Jackson County Free Health Clinic has one that is hard to beat. Providing health care and medications to low-income uninsured adults, the clinic creates partnerships within the community to treat chronic illness. Organizers of “Scopes for Hope” deftly managed to communicate the need for and impact of the clinic in a positive and uplifting way. In addition to being a good time and a financial success, “Scopes for Hope” triumphed as an awareness-building campaign.

Last year’s “Scopes for Hope” was an event I almost skipped, but I wouldn’t dream of missing it this year to see how the committee follows the achievements of 2009.

“Scopes for Hope” will be held Friday, Nov. 5 at the Holiday Inn Kansas City Sports Complex Hotel from 6 to 10 p.m. Individual tickets are $100 with sponsorships beginning at $1,000. Reservations are requested by Oct. 15 and can be made by calling 816-404-6455 or by visiting www.jcfhc.org.