Beaufort Memorial Foundation hosts Valentine Ball

Book your tickets now for the February 9 black tie hospital fundraiser 

The holidays may be over, but don’t put away your party dress yet.  Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s much-anticipated Valentine Ball is just a few weeks away.

Billed as the social event of the season, the black tie fundraiser takes place Saturday, Feb. 9 at the historic Lyceum on Parris Island. But if you want to get an invite to one of the private dinner parties held before the gala, you’ll need to purchase your ticket by Jan. 14.

After attending a pre-ball dinner party, attendees head over to the gala where they will enjoy dessert and dancing to the music of Charleston’s 17 South.

The pre-ball parties are held in some of Beaufort’s finest residences. Some 50 homeowners have volunteered to host the elegant dinners that serve as a warm-up to the main event. In addition to providing the venue, the hosts plan the menu and pick up the tab for the meal.

“It’s an intimate setting where you can get to know people before going to the ball,” said Mary Lee Grove, who is co-chairing the Valentine Ball with her husband George and BMH President and CEO Rick Toomey and his wife Dr. Linda Hawes. “It’s a lovely way to start the evening.”

Equally important, the dinner parties cut down on the cost of putting on the fundraiser, leaving more of the proceeds for the foundation.

“Beaufort is a very gracious and generous community,” said Becky Trask, who helped organize the first Valentine Ball in 1990 and has hosted countless parties over the years. “People recognize the need for a good hospital and are happy to support it.”

Beaufort Memorial President and CEO Rick Toomey and his wife Linda Hawes, MD, will be co-chairing the 2013 Valentine Ball along with Mary Lee and George Grove. The event, Beaufort Memorial’s key fundraising event, is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Lyceum on Parris Island.

Following the Jan. 14 deadline, a committee of volunteers will put together the guest list for each dinner. Group sizes will range from eight to 34 people. A week or two before the event, guests will receive an invitation to the party they were selected to attend.

“People in the community open up their homes and go all out to make it a special evening,” said Hawes, who has co-hosted pre-ball parties with friends. “The dinners give each year’s ball a different personality.”

After dining at the private homes, guests will gather at the ball where they will be treated to dessert, coffee and live music performed by Charleston’s 17 South. The eight-piece party band will be playing a wide range of dance music from Motown to swing.

The evening festivities also will include a silent auction with a unique selection of items from accommodations in an English countryside flat to a progressive dinner for eight in three historic homes on The Point.

Valentine Ball proceeds will also help fund one of LifeFit’s most popular programs, the Mobile Wellness Unit, a 40-foot van which travels throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties offering free or low cost health screenings to community residents.

Proceeds raised from the fundraiser are earmarked for the expansion and relocation of LifeFit Wellness Services, Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s medically supervised fitness and wellness center.

Tickets to the Valentine Ball start at $150 per person and can be purchased online at www.valentineball.org or by calling (843) 522-5774.




Valentine Ball supports expansion of LifeFit Wellness Services

Since its first Valentine Ball in 1990, Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation has raised more than $3.7 million to expand and improve services at the nonprofit medical center.

This year’s gala will help pay for the relocation and expansion of the hospital’s LifeFit Wellness Center, a medically supervised fitness facility offering comprehensive health-related programs from nutrition counseling to smoking cessation classes.

Now operating at capacity and with nowhere to grow in its space at Beaufort Medical Plaza, LifeFit is moving this spring to the new Beaufort Medical & Administrative Center being built across from the hospital. The Wellness Center will take up the first floor of the four-story, 80,000-square-foot building.

“We’re significantly increasing our space from 10,000 square feet to 17,000,” said LifeFit Senior Director Mark Senn. “It will allow us to expand our exercise options and have a bigger group exercise room.”

The Valentine Ball proceeds will help pay for additional equipment, including 14 stationary bicycles. Most of them will be used for spin classes in the group exercise room, which will almost double its current 700 square feet space. The schedule of exercise offerings also includes flexibility classes, Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, body sculpting and Zumba.

Funds from the Valentine Ball also will be used to enhance some of LifeFit’s supporting health services, which include everything from community health-related lectures and health fairs to cancer education and support groups to smoking cessation and parenting classes.

One of its most popular programs is the LifeFit Mobile Wellness Unit, a 40-foot van offering free or low cost health screenings to residents in Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort, Ridgeland and Jasper County.

Most recently, BMH added Community Transitional Care services for patients with chronic congestive heart failure, pneumonia and obstructive pulmonary disease. A nurse practitioner visits patients while they are being treated at the hospital to go over their doctor’s orders, set up follow-up appointments and arrange for extra care at home if needed.

For more information on LifeFit Wellness Services, visit www.bmhsc.org or call (843) 522-5635.

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