Great Galas

BY Staff

Compiled by Cory Mac Pherson and Emily Brown | Photography by Joshua Curry | Styled by Teresa Kramer | Modeled by Melissa Rouse | Hair by Kelly Twisdale of Brush Salon | Makeup & Hair by Shannon hill of Brush Salon |

Wrightsville Beach Magazine is pleased to present our semi-annual look at the Azalea Coast charitable social events occurring this fall and winter. Please take a moment to learn more about these fundraisers and charities that impact so many lives in our area then mark your calendars and get involved.

November 7-10 2008

Willie Stargell Celebrity Golf Tournament and Auction Dinner

Country Club of Landfall

In April 2001 Willie Stargell beloved Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman passed away after a lengthy battle with kidney disease. In his honor Stargells wife Margaret Weller-Stargell established the nonprofit Willie Stargell Foundation in 2003. Every year the foundation hosts a golf tournament and auction dinner to benefit those affected by kidney disease who could not otherwise afford their medications. Last year the tournaments 160 players and 300 auction dinner guests raised more than $225 000. For this years sixth annual Golf Tournament and Auction Dinner Pirates teammates notable sports figures and friends will return to once more remember Stargell and to raise money for kidney-related projects and programs. Guests will have the opportunity for autographs to view noted sports memorabilia and to bid on auction items donated by the players themselves. For the weekends schedule of events or to reserve tickets visit the foundations Web site at or contact event director Louise McColl at (910) 350-1211 ext. 1.

November 8 2008

Wrightsville Beach Sea
Kayak Race

Blockade Runner Dock Salt Marsh Kayak Co. Rental Facility

This year marks the fifth annual Wrightsville Beach Sea Kayak Race. The race raises money for the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust whose mission is to enrich the coastal communities of NC through the acquisition of open space and natural areas conservation education and the promotion of good land stewardship. The race will begin on Saturday November 8 at 1 p.m. and take place at the Salt Marsh Kayak Co. Rental Facility across from the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Three different races are offered so that people of all ages and skill levels can participate: a Kids Race (if there are enough children participating) a Three-Mile Fun Race for novices and the Six-Mile Race for intermediate to advanced kayakers. There is a $35 base entry fee for all participants. For more information call (910) 509-2989 or visit

November 14 2008

2008 Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality Network Gala

The Country Club of Landfall

The Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality Network (WIHN) Gala is a black-tie-optional dinner with music comedy and live and silent auctions. This years keynote speaker is author Celia Rivenbark. Live music will be provided by Jason Marks. All proceeds benefit WIHNs programs helping needy and homeless families transition to independence in the Wilmington area. Last year more than 200 guests helped raise more than $20 000. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 and sponsorship is available. For more information about the event or WIHN contact Rhonda Sowards at (910) 795-1736 or visit

November 28 2008

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla Captains and Sponsors Party

Blockade Runner Beach Resort

At 7 p.m. the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla will kick off its 25th annual party and auction honoring the flotillas boat captains and sponsors. With a live performance by high-energy band Liquid Pleasure guests will rock out to their favorite hits. The party usually welcomes 250 guests. The festivities will continue on Saturday November 29 with Festival in the Park followed by the magnificent lighted-boat procession and fireworks. An awards luncheon will be held on Sunday November 30. For more information or to reserve tickets for the Captains and Sponsors Party call (910) 256-2120 or visit

November 12 2008

YWCA Purse & Passion Luncheon

Warwick Center UNCW

The YWCA will celebrate the power of individual philanthropy at the third annual Purse & Passion Luncheon. Purse & Passion encourages philanthropy among women and provides an opportunity to network with others from diverse social ethnic economic educational and cultural backgrounds. Guests will hear from women whose lives have been changed by the YWCA and discover how their gifts benefit women and their families in our community. This event brings together both long-term supporters and others learning about the YWCA for the first time. Together they commit to sharing their resources to strengthen the YWCAs capacity to touch the lives of women and their families in important and far-reaching ways. For more information call Mary Martin YWCA public relations director at (910) 799-6820 ext. 120 or visit the YWCAs Web site at

December 6 2008

Third Annual Wilmington Fur Ball

Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts

The third annual Wilmington Fur Ball will take place on Saturday December 6 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. A ticket to the black-tie red-carpet ball includes a selection of beverages as well as lavish hors doeuvres provided by local restaurants. Because tickets sold out last year the event will take place on both the first and second floors of Thalian Hall. The band 360 Degrees will provide music for dancing and psychic entertainers will no doubt wow the crowd. Proceeds from the live and silent auctions benefit animal rescue operations in the Wilmington area including Adopt an Angel of Wilmington Pender County Humane Society and Columbus County Humane Society. Last year the event raised close to $30 000. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at the Thalian Hall Box Office. For more information go to or call (910) 798-1946.

December 9 2008

Good Friends of Wilmington Holiday Luncheon

Burney Center UNCW Campus

Since its inception in 1997 Good Friends of Wilmington has gathered in December to raise money for disadvantaged individuals and families living in New Hanover County whose needs are not being met by other organizations. Last year around 450 guests raised $55 000. This year guests can look forward to lunch and testimonies from three newly designated families in need. All proceeds go to the families and toward next years event. The goal is to reach as many families and individuals as possible. All the money raised at the luncheon goes directly to those in need. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. The event is open to the public but reservations are appreciated. To save a seat call luncheon chair Micki Hage at (910)-790-5546.

December 5 2008

Hope from Helen Surf Silent Auction

Blockade Runner Beach Resort

Hope from Helen is a nonprofit charity that supports local and global organizations dedicated to health education animals the environment and individuals and families in need. Join the local community for an amazing night of fun food music and friends all to support charity. The fourth annual Hope from Helen Surf Silent Auction will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach and is sponsored by and the Board Retailers Association. Food is courtesy of Tower 7. Admission is free. For more information visit

December 13 2008

Santa Cruise

Henrietta III Riverboat

For 20 years Cape Fear River Boats and the Salvation Army have teamed up to give families the privilege of taking a two-hour cruise with Santa Claus himself. The admission is six cans of nonperishable food per person and all the cans go straight into the Salvation Armys food bank. Once aboard children can cavort with clowns enjoy snacks and hot chocolate provided by vendors and sit on Santas knee. Boarding begins at 9:30 a.m. and the ship sets sail at 10 a.m. To make a reservation call (910) 343-1611 or visit Cape Fear River Boats at or more information.

January 15 2009

Annual Meeting for Domestic Violence Shelters and Services Inc.

Madeline Suites UNCW Campus

This year marks the 23rd anniversary of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services Inc. which has served as the sole domestic violence shelter in Wilmington and New Hanover County since 1986. Come to the annual meeting at the Madeline Suites at UNCW to celebrate the community support it has received throughout the year. There is no charge. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. and includes a breakfast buffet. The breakfast will also highlight the success of the programs and services offered by the shelter throughout the year. Seats must be reserved by January 9. For more information call Diane Lomas at (910) 343-9969 ext. 17.

January 23 2009

North Carolina Azalea Festival Pre-Festival Party

Hilton Wilmington Riverside

As one of the main fundraisers for the North Carolina Azalea Festival the pre-festival party will kick off the 2009 Azalea Festival with food fun and music by the band Sleeping Booty. The party begins at 8 p.m. and will continue until midnight. Ticket prices are still to be determined. For more information call (910) 794-4650 or visit

January 24 2009

New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundations Founders Gala

The Coastline Inn and Convention Center

In 2009 the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation serves up its 10th annual Founders Gala. Last years event raised $100 000. This year guests will be treated to An Imperial Affair where they will enjoy their favorite songs performed by Party on the Moon and participate in a live auction. This special event will help the medical center raise money to create a “child-friendly” emergency department. Attendance is capped at 500 so reserve tickets early. To reserve tickets or receive information on sponsorship opportunities please call the medical centers main office at (910) 815-5002 or Tracey Kellogg at (910) 815-5042. Visit for additional details.

February 2009

African-American Heritage Foundation of Wilmingtons Second Annual Gala

Country Club of Landfall

Last year the African-American Heritage Foundation of Wilmington hosted 75 guests. The inaugural event raised $13 000. This year the foundation hopes between 125-150 guests will help raise funds for the renovation of its building in historic Downtown Wilmington which will soon be a museum celebrating Wilmingtons African-American heritage. Call John Battle at (910) 256-3404 for additional details.

February 6 2009

New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundations Red Dress Luncheon and Fashion Show

Country Club of Landfall

Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women. Each year nearly half a million women die from cardiovascular disease. In order to fund outreach activities and health screenings to identify women with risk factors the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation will be hosting its fourth annual Red Dress Luncheon and Fashion Show. This elegant fashion show and raffle is part of the national “Heart Disease Awareness Month” activities which educate women about heart disease. Last year the luncheon raised $60 000; this year the medical foundation expects 300 guests to attend. To reserve tickets or for sponsorship opportunities please call the medical centers main office at (910) 815-5002 or Tracey Kellogg at (910) 815-5042. Visit  for additional details. 


February 6-8 2009

Wilmington Chocolate Festival Preview Gala and Show

New Hanover County Senior Center

This sweet affair is presented by the Volunteer Older Citizens Action League (VOCAL) and begins with a preview gala on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening will feature appetizers and heavy hors doeuvres from area wineries and fine dining restaurants as well as unlimited chocolates and desserts to sink your teeth into. Guests will enjoy live music dancing shopping and raffles. There will also be a chocolate auction featuring chocolate pearls chocolate diamonds and overnight weekend packages in downtown and beach-front locations. On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. the seventh annual Wilmington Chocolate Festival Show will showcase raffles celebrity chef demonstrations and many other exciting on-site activities. Booths from 30-plus local vendors will be set up with sweets galore for guests of all ages to sample and buy. All proceeds from the weekend will benefit the New Hanover County Department of Aging and will help to improve and continue programs for seniors such as Meals on Wheels the Foster Grandparent Program and many more. Tickets for the gala are $25 and include one entry for the Chocolate Show. Tickets for the show are $5 in advance $8 at the door. For more information about other exciting chocolate events during the festival including a death by chocolate murder mystery cruise contact Gayle Ginsberg at (910) 798-6402.

February 7 2009

Nighttime in the Forest

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science

The sixth annual Cape Fear Museum Gala themed “Nighttime in the Forest ” will highlight the museums new Long Leaf Pine Forest Gallery. Guests will be served dinner and be invited to tour the museums exhibits. This year proceeds will again go to the museum as it continues to share educational exhibits and programs with the community. Tickets are $125 per person and sponsorship is available. For more information call (910) 798-4351. 

February 28 2009

2009 Cape Fear Heart Ball

Location TBA

Every 35 seconds someone dies from cardiovascular disease. The Heart Ball is an annual black-tie event that raises awareness and funds research for cardiovascular disease the number one cause of death among both men and women. Dinner and cocktails will be served at the event and guests will enjoy live music and dancing. Dr. Damian Brezinski and his wife Sue are the chairs of this years event. Last years heart ball raised more than $130 000 for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Associations research and education programs. This year the associations have set a goal to raise $170 000 as well as a long-term goal to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by 25 percent in 2010. Tickets to the ball are $200. For more information call Rochelle Deaver at (910) 794-5507.

February 28 2009

The Childrens Museum of Wilmingtons Circle of Friends Feeding Friend-zy

The Childrens Museum of Wilmington

Dont miss the Circle of Friends eighth annual public event! This nonprofit group consisting of 100 women has invited locals to host their own private dinner parties with friends and family members. Afterwards all the parties meet at The Childrens Museum for music an auction and a dessert buffet at 8 p.m. Not only is this event a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with friends but it is also a chance to help the Childrens Museum of Wilmington pay for its operational expenses. Last year more than 700 participants were present for the dessert auction. To sign up to be a host or to become involved with Circle of Friends contact Allison Farmer at (910) 262-3325 email her at [email protected] or visit The Childrens Museum of Wilmingtons Web site at

March 7 2009

Cape Fear Literacy Councils Mardi Gras Gala and Bid for Literacy Auction

Coastline Convention Center

In its 23rd year the Cape Fear Literacy Councils annual Gala and Bid for Literacy Auction promises to be bigger and better than ever with music dancing and both live and silent auctions. The 2009 Gala is a festive Mardi Gras-themed affair featuring party attire and a wide variety of unique and eclectic auction items including vacations artwork from local artists and gift certificates to area merchants. Heavy hors doeuvres will be provided. The gala begins at 6 and ends at 11 p.m. The CFLC relies on the proceeds from the gala for 50 percent of its local community support of adult literacy programs. Tickets are $450 for reserved tables of ten and $50 for individual tickets. For more information visit or call (910) 251-0911.

March 22 2009 (tentative)

SunTrust Runway Wilmington

Surprise location!

Runway Wilmington is the theme for this years always popular and fashionable fundraiser. Heavy hors doeuvres will be followed by a glamorous runway event which in turn will be followed by presentations of local dance artists which will then be followed by dessert and coffee. The money raised from ticket prices and sponsorships will fund parent and children activities sponsored by the Child Advocacy and Parenting Place Exchange Club Center. A fun and fresh evening is planned for all CAPP Center supporters. For more information call CAPP Center CFO and COO Liz Mandel at (910) 791-1057 extension 17.

April 4-5 2009

Historic Wilmington Foundation Home Tour

Ribbon Cutting House to be determined

Since it was organized in 1966 the Historic Wilmington Foundation has successfully saved hundreds of historic properties from demolition. One of its most successful fundraisers is the home tour which highlights 8-10 historic homes from a range of different architectural styles and time periods. The tour will take place from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. All proceeds benefit the Historic Wilmington Foundations efforts to protect and preserve historic buildings in Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region. Last year The Historic Wilmington Foundation Home Tour hosted close to 1 000 patrons so reserve tickets ahead of time by calling (910) 762-2511 or by visiting

April 22 2009

Cape Fear Habitat for Humanitys Fashion Show and Luncheon

Carrabbas Italian Grill

Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day with a delicious lunch at Carrabbas Italian Grill. The sixth annual Fashion Show and Luncheon is hosted by Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity. Last year the event featured coastal chic fashions by Redix. This year the event is expected to raise more than $10 000. All of the proceeds benefit Cape Fear Habitat for Humanitys efforts to build homes for local families. Guests can win door prizes including gift baskets filled with bottles of wine restaurant gift certificates jewelry perfume scarves and other ladys fashion items. Tickets are $25 per person. There will be 2 seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There are only 400 tickets so be sure to reserve a table for your friends or coworkers ahead of time. For more information contact Kitty Yerkes (910) 762-4744 ext. 102 or email her at [email protected].

April 24-25 2009

The American Cancer Societys 2009 New Hanover County Relay For Life

Ashley High School

In 2008 more than 5 500 people participated in The American Cancer Societys Relay For Life raising $627 000 to support the fight against cancer. The event will again take place at Ashley High School where participants will set up tents and campsites and walk as teams for 24 straight hours around the Ashley track. The 2009 honorary chairman will be Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous and the emotional fundraiser will feature more than 500 cancer survivors and 200 corporate sponsors in addition to the thousands and thousands of walkers. There will be a Kid Walk and Canine Relay For Life as well. To become a corporate sponsor or a registered participant or to find out more visit or call Joan Bar-Zeev at (910) 686-5191.

April 25 2009

Making Legends Local Variety in Vegas

Thalian Hall

For the sixth annual Making Legends Local show themed “Variety in Vegas ” guests can anticipate celebrity treatment! From 6 to 7:45 p.m. the Thalian Ballroom will host a Red Carpet Reception featuring live music and a buffet presentation by 16 local restaurants and caterers. The Carousel Center For Abused Children will once again present its feature piece of art of the year. At 8 p.m. guests will head to the theater where they will enjoy seeing impersonations of traditional Vegas performers. This year the lineup will include Sly and the Family Stone Marvin Gaye Lionel Richie Glen Campbell Wayne Newton The Divine Ms. M Patti Page Elvis Presley and many more surprising entertainers. All proceeds will benefit the Carousel Center for Abused Children and its extensive program that provides medical and therapeutic care to abused children throughout southeastern North Carolina. Last year the event raised $90 000. Tickets sell out early. To receive more information about the Carousel Center for Abused Children call (910) 254-9898 or visit  To purchase general admission tickets call the Thalian Hall Box Office at (910) 343-3664 or toll free at 1-800-523-2820.

April 24 and 26 2009

Roman Gabriel Celebrity Golf Tournament

Echo Farms Golf & Country Club

Twenty-six years ago Roman Gabriel star quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams started an organization with some of his former New Hanover High School teammates to help fellow teammate Mac Williams with his medical expenses due to multiple sclerosis. Though Williams passed away in 2001 The Mac Williams Foundation Inc. has since grown and continues to provide financial support to victims of MS as well as scholarships to high school student athletes. This year at least 30 former star athletes will participate in the Roman Gabriel Celebrity Golf Tournament to support and promote the charity. The event kicks off Friday evening April 24 at the Elks Lodge with a dance and auction. Buddy Skipper and The Jetty Jumpers will be on hand to play live beach music while guests shag the night away. After a day of rest the event will continue on Sunday April 26 with the Celebrity Golf Tournament where each team will be captained by one of the celebrity guests. For more information contact Carolyn Strickland at (910) 343-3066.

April 25 2009

Landfall Foundation Gala

Country Club of Landfall

    The 13th annual black-tie gala will be a festive evening to support the Landfall Foundation which will donate the proceeds to other charitable organizations in the community. This years theme is Triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number thirteen). The event will feature as always great food great music and a silent auction as well as a few surprises. All are welcome and invitations are mailed out mid-February. For more information send an email to [email protected]  or call Avery Wilmeth at (910) 256-4444.

Where to Shop

A Carolina Wedding
17 South 2nd Street
(910) 762-3312

Encore! Consignment Boutique and Gallery
5814 Oleander Drive
(910) 452-4468

Isabella Grape
Oleander Oaks
5725 Oleander Drive
(910) 791-7701

Palm Garden
Landfall Center
1319A Military Cutoff Road
(910) 256-9984

Personal Touch
The Forum
1125 Military Cutoff Road
(910) 256-8888

S. Burke Fine Jewelry
Lumina Station
1900 Eastwood Road
(910) 256-3311

Snowdens Jewelers
University Center
352-20 S. College Road
(910) 799-8018

Spectrum Art & Jewelry
The Forum
1125 Military Cutoff Road
(910) 256-2323