One of the couples who co-chaired the inaugural Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation Valentine Ball will take the reins once again this year on the 25th anniversary of the popular fundraiser.
Jim and Weezie Gibson spearheaded the coordination of the first Valentine Ball in 1990. It has since become the foundation’s signature fundraiser and Beaufort’s social event of the season, drawing some six hundred to eight hundred guests each year.
A retired attorney with Howell, Gibson & Hughes, Jim Gibson once served as the hospital’s lawyer. His wife was director of volunteers and served on the BMH Foundation Board of Trustees. They will share the top post for the 2014 ball with dentist Dr. Aaron Bliley and his wife Melissa. Since moving to Beaufort in 2009, the Blileys have attended the Valentine Ball every year. Melissa has worked on the auction and dessert committees and last year co-chaired the kick-off party committee.
As part of the 2014 quarter-century celebration, the black tie affair will be moved from the historic Lyceum on Parris Island to the new Beaufort Memorial Medical & Administrative Center (BMAC). The complex is located on Ribaut Road across from the main hospital campus and for the coming year, the second floor of the building has been purposefully left vacant for future growth.
The evening will begin with pre-ball dinner parties held in some of Beaufort’s most beautiful homes. About 9 p.m., guests will make their way to BMAC for dancing, dessert and a silent auction. Over the years, the Valentine Ball has raised more than $3.9 million, allowing the nonprofit hospital to offer new and improved services. Proceeds from the 2014 event will help pay for the expansion of Beaufort Memorial’s Intensive Care Unit from eight to 12 beds.
Tickets to the Valentine Ball start at $150 per person and include several levels of contributions. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.valentineball.org or call (843) 522-5774.