April 2010

Boats and Bachelors Team up for a Worthy Cause: A Few Good Men Add Charm to the May 2 Hospice Fundraiser

Author: Ashley Krieger

For the past five years, the beginning of May has brought one of the area’s largest fundraisers and most anticipated social events: Hospice Care of the Lowcountry’s Yacht Hop. This year will be no different. On May 2, at 5:30 p.m., the Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Sea Pines Plantation will be filled with lustrous boats of every size. The air will be filled with mouth-watering scents of Lowcountry favorites, and music from the Headliners will be heard for miles while couples take to the dance floor under the age-old Liberty Oak. This year will be just like every other year—with maybe one exception.

This year’s Yacht Hop will have a few handsome additions. Six of CH2 magazine’s “Bachelor of the Year” contestants will be escorting some of the area’s finest ladies to the event. During February’s “Hospice, Hearts and You” fundraiser, Chris Lane, Dean Costakis, Kevin Camp, Nick Nestico, Troy Ahyo and Warren Flick, each volunteered their time and even offered to be auctioned off as dates at May’s Yacht Hop. It didn’t take much coaxing to get the bidding underway.

“These guys have been terrific,” said Darlene Schuetz, event organizer and marketing director for Hospice Care of the Lowcountry. “They all have gone out of their way, from serving wine to our guests at Hospice, Hearts and You to being willing participants in our auction. They’ve gone over and above to help our organization.”

Troy AhYo, an Internet marketing consultant, was motivated to volunteer after a personal experience with hospice care. “I lost my grandmother last July, and hospice care is near and dear to my heart. When Darlene asked me to volunteer, I gladly said yes. Hospice Care of the Lowcountry is such a great organization, and it’s my pleasure to assist them in their fundraising efforts,” he said.

For others, like guidance counselor Dean Costakis, it’s an opportunity to support a worthy cause while having a good time. “I cannot wait for the Yacht Hop this year. Hospice Care of the Lowountry has created the perfect equation for a superior event by combining stunning yachts, great food and wine and good company,” he said.

Over the years, Yacht Hop has certainly earned the title of a “superior event;” becoming a fundraiser distinctive not only to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, but to the area as well. Each year, more than 17 yachts are docked in the Harbour with every vessel hosting a different chef. Guests are invited to grab a drink at one of the bars and step aboard for tastings and the opportunity to survey the luxury ships. The evening unfolds to the music of The Headliners, and a silent auction and live auction entice those willing to make a wager for a good cause. Exciting items up for bid range from golf packages and high quality art pieces to catered cruises and shopping sprees. The evening concludes with dessert and a champagne toast.

“Our staff works tirelessly each year to create a truly enjoyable event,” said Lynn Brooks, executive director of Hospice Care of the Lowcountry. “This is not only our opportunity to raise awareness and funds for our organization, but it’s also our way of thanking our valued supporters and volunteers without whom we could not put on such an event or continue to provide the vital services of hospice and palliative care to our community.”

Yacht Hop is Hospice Care of the Lowcountry’s largest annual fundraiser. Last year more than 300 attendees helped raise $60,000. All proceeds from the evening benefit Hospice Care of the Lowcountry’s patient programs.

“It takes a great deal of both financial and volunteer support for Hospice Care of the Lowcountry to be able to provide its services free-of-charge to families in need,” Brooks said. “And, in such challenging economic times, we place great value in each person’s donation, whether it be monetary or in the form of volunteer hours.”

For Yacht Hop details, to purchase tickets or become a sponsor, please visit www.hospicecarelc.org or call (843) 706-2296. Advance tickets for the event are on sale now.

About Hospice Care of the Lowcountry: Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, founded in 1982, is a not-for-profit 501 © 3 hospice and palliative care organization, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. Its mission is to provide comfort and pain management while valuing dignity for individuals and their families through compassionate, physical, emotional and spiritual care, regardless of their ability to pay. Hospice Care of the Lowcountry’s team of nurses are all certified in hospice and palliative care and their services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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