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Thursday, February 10, 2011 - Pink guitar – crafted with love – one of several auction items available at Sparrow Gala

Annual event will raise funds for Sparrow Cancer Center this year

LANSING, Mich. — The 2011 Sparrow Gala – which benefits the Sparrow Cancer Center – is just around the corner, and Doug Aves is doing his part to fight cancer the best way he knows how.

Aves – whose wife Tammy was treated at the Sparrow Cancer Center in 2005 for breast cancer, which is now in remission – has hand-crafted a pink guitar that will be auctioned off at the Feb. 26 event held at the University Club of MSU. The guitar is one of several items that Gala attendees will have a chance to win.

“The care that they gave her was really impressive – it was nothing like I thought it would be,” Aves said. “It’s amazing how upbeat everybody was – it was just incredible. I heard about the auction and I started thinking about what I could do, because everybody at the Cancer Center did so much for the people they were treating.”

The guitar was designed with input from WINS – Sparrow’s support group for women with breast cancer, of which Tammy was a member. The pink mahogany and maple guitar features pink pearl fret inlays and the word “hope” etched into the headstock, also with pink pearl.

“I’d come up with an idea and go over it with them -- usually they’d change my idea and think of something better,” Aves said. “Everything on the guitar, they came up with.”

Aves cited Sparrow physicians Timothy McKenna, DO , and James Herman, MD , for their exceptional care, as well as the many nurses and Associates who helped care for Tammy during her stay.

“Everyone there was absolutely wonderful,” he said.

Tickets to the Gala are available by calling 517.364.5680 or visiting the Sparrow Foundation. You can also win two tickets by thinking like Doug and telling us one thing you can do to help in the fight against cancer. It can be anything you can think of -- from ways to raise money like Doug, to ways to raise awareness like participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Ideas can be submitted at Sparrow's Facebook page. A random drawing to determine the winner will be held Friday, Feb. 19.

The Sparrow Gala offers a fun and sophisticated atmosphere featuring dancing, dining and gaming. For more information, including a complete list of auction items, visit

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