Ken and Marianna Staples, with support from the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor and hundreds of individuals and businesses, have worked tirelessly for the last twenty-five years to support the Salvation Army’s efforts to help the homeless in the Ann Arbor area. The “Festive Affair,” an annual fund-raising event featuring silent and live auction items, food and fellowship was held each October at Weber’s Inn.
I first met Ken Staples around 2009 when I was a barber (and he was a customer) at McGuire’s Barber Shop on Ann Arbor’s west side. Ken is a gregarious man and it wasn’t long before he told me about the fine work the Salvation Army does to help homeless people get on their feet. He was particularly interested in supporting the mission of the facility to help homeless families, located on Packard Road in southeast Ann Arbor. Ken and his wife, Marianna, did so much to support that program that the Salvation Army named the facility after them: The Ken and Marianna Staples Family Center.
I was then the Worshipful Master (presiding officer) of Golden Rule Lodge No. 159, Ann Arbor’s oldest masonic lodge, and thought that the Staples Family Center would be a worthy cause for the lodge’s charitable giving. My lodge brothers agreed, and we’ve been supporting the Festive Affair fund-raiser ever since.
After 25 years of service, Ken and Marianna have decided it’s time to retire. Since no one was in a position to take over the reins, the 2016 Festive Affair is the last of its kind. The work of the Salvation Army and the Staples Family Center will continue, of course, but the fund-raising efforts will move in new directions.
Thank you, Ken, for encouraging me and so many others to join you in helping those less fortunate!
The pièce de résistance of the annual event was the auction of an adorable puppy! The puppy was always the last item of the live auction.