Valentine Ball Weekend 2017

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation Announces Valentine Ball 2017 Chairmen

The Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2017 Valentine Ball on Saturday, February 11th will be co-chaired by Chris and Amy Geier along with Dr. Andrea Hucks and Dr. Dan Ripley

Both couples have been actively involved in volunteering for the Ball since they were first stationed in the Lowcountry years ago by the military, Chris as a JAG attorney in Savannah and Dan as a physician at the Naval Hospital.  As often happens, they quickly fell in love with Beaufort and decided to make it their permanent home when their military careers came to a close.     

For South Carolina natives Andrea and Dan, it was a natural choice.  The couple had met in medical school at MUSC, and though residencies and Dan’s tour in Iraq had taken them out of state for several years, they were eager to return the first chance they got.  When Dan was stationed at Parris Island 16 years ago, Andrea started working as an internist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, a job she is clearly passionate about.

“It has been the most wonderful place to practice,” she said.  “I don’t know if people really understand how rare or special a community-based hospital is these days.”

In Chris and Amy’s case, both of their fathers were in the Army and they had moved around all their lives.  Although the transient nature of military life led to their first meeting, they knew they wanted something different for their family.  The small town feel of Beaufort appealed to them, meaning their two small boys could grow up with friends they had known since preschool.  When Chris returned from his tour in Iraq, he transitioned into civilian practice and, like Andrea, Amy began working for Beaufort Memorial.  As a nursery and labor and delivery nurse, she especially appreciates how much the hospital embraces military as well as civilian families, and she’s justifiably proud of the services the hospital provides.

Andrea and Amy’s commitment to the not-for-profit hospital they work for extends far beyond patient care, for they know that it depends heavily on donations raised through the Foundation.  Now in its 28th year, the Foundation’s signature event has raised nearly $4.8 million for the hospital.  To continue the phenomenal level of philanthropic support that has underwritten fully half of all capital and equipment for the hospital’s Keyserling Cancer Center, proceeds of the 2017 Valentine Ball will support cancer services.

“In some form or fashion, whether it’s ourselves or a friend or family member, cancer touches all of us,” Andrea says. “With community support, and neighbors helping neighbors, we’re able to deliver state of the art cancer care right here in our backyard.”

In support of the Foundation’s efforts, hundreds of people are expected to attend the Valentine Ball which will be held downtown for the very first time this year.  

“The new venue will set just the right tone for the pure grandeur of the Ball with a decidedly Lowcountry feel,” Andrea says.  For those who just can’t wait to soak in the atmosphere, the Foundation is offering a very special Cocktail Party the night before.  The event will feature bourbon and wine tastings as well as cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres from 6-8:30pm and is another great way to help support the Foundation. 

As for the main gala the following evening, the 2017 co-hosts couldn’t be more excited. 

“The Valentine Ball is a wonderful time to come together as a community and have a fun night out,’” Andrea says. “And who doesn’t love a man in a tux?” 

Guests who purchase tickets before the January 12 RSVP deadline will also be invited to attend one of the privately-hosted dinner parties just before the Ball.  

“The dinner parties are such a wonderful feature of the Ball,” Amy says, as she enthusiastically lists off each of the hosts and homes she’s gone to over the years.  “They’re a great way to make new friends and see some really beautiful houses and venues, and the food is always fabulous.” 

Andrea couldn’t agree more, as she and Dan have had the most wonderful fun hosting dinner parties for over 10 years now. 

“It’s so special to open our home to people who are supporting the hospital, and it’s a really great way to meet new people” Andrea says.  “Dan is a tremendous cook and we spend a year planning the menu and wine list around a theme so that it’s different every time.  We couldn’t enjoy it more!” 

After dinner, guests progress to the Valentine Ball to dance the night away alongside tiers of elaborate desserts and silent auction possibilities.

Tickets to the Valentine Ball and private dinner parties start at $150 per person and include several sponsorship levels. Tickets to the Cocktail Party the night before start at $75 per person with a discount for those wishing to “make a weekend of it” by attending both events.  For more information , please call the Foundation at (843) 522-5774.  Tickets will be available starting in November.

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