For the past seven years, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center has been bringing the beach to Chapel Hill with its annual event The Beach Ball. I am honored to say that for the past five of the seven years I have been involved (in some-way-shape-or-form) with the Fundraising/Silent Auction Committee. I served on the auction committee in 2006, was co-chair of the auction committee for years 2007 and 2008, served as chair of the auction committee for 2009 and served again this year as co-chair of the auction committee for 2010. Over the past 6 years, the Beach Ball has raised more than $770,000 for UNC Lineberger’s cancer prevention, treatment, and outreach programs to benefit the citizens of North Carolina.
The original Beach Ball was started in the early 90s by Missy Julian-Fox and a group of survivors/volunteers as a fun way to celebrate National Cancer Survivor’s Day and as a fundraiser for UNC Lineberger. The event was reinvigorated in 2004 by a new group of volunteers to raise awareness and money to support UNC Lineberger programs and to continue celebrating survivors.
This year's Seventh Annual Beach Ball, held on April 17th, made a big splash as it shook things up a bit and proved to be a beach bash like never before. The committee was excited to unveil a totally refreshed event to previous attendees and newcomers. This year the Beach Ball event was held in the recently renovated and newly unveiled Chapel Hill Country Club (where Birdie is one of the golf pros). A much posher space than in previous years when we were at University Mall. About three years ago, we attached themes to the event; Beach Ball Under the Sea in 2008 and Beach Ball on the Boardwalk in 2009. This year we upped the ante and hosted a South Beach/Hamptons-inspired "White Party". Everyone (600 to be exact) showed up in their brightest beach whites, even our honorary chairs Coach Roy Williams and his wife, Wanda. While the event changed slightly with a new venue, we still offered our attendees the components they enjoy the most about Beach Ball; an exclusive Pre-Party, dancing to music by The Troupers, a great auction and excellent food and drinks. We did have a great addition this year of Sam Girton, a great photographer who has a very unique style. Lots of pictures were taken and I will certainly UPDATE this post when they have been posted.
*In-Kind donations for the Beach Ball over the past six years exceed $394,000 including media coverage, food, beverage, auction and other generous contributions.