• Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine

Dr. Andy and Laura Beall, co-chairs of Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 26th Annual Valentine Ball, know all too well the benefits of having a top-notch hospital in their community. Laura Beall, a breast cancer survivor, was treated at Beaufort Memorial’s Keyserling Cancer
Center. “We count ourselves fortunate to be here and to be promoting BMH, an organization we feel is vital to the well-being of the area and whose services we have experienced first-hand,” Laura Beall said.

Their co-chairs, Dr. D.J. and Ryan Christian, have their own personal experience with BMH. All three of their children were born in the hospital’s Birthing Center.  “There are so many exceptional doctors and nurses here,” Ryan Christian said. “Other small towns Beaufort’s size just don’t have what we have.”  The Christians moved to Beaufort when D.J. Christian, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist), joined Beaufort ENT and Allergy.

Laura Beall, a sales consultant for Etcetera clothing, is the newest member of the BMH foundation’s Board of Trustees. Her husband, Andy, is executive director of the Santa Elena Foundation. Both couples have been actively involved in supporting Beaufort Memorial’s mission of delivering superior health care services and improving the health of the community. Not only have they been regulars at the ball, they’ve teamed up with friends to host pre-ball dinner parties. Over the years, they’ve also served on a variety of the event’s planning committees, including decorations, auction, and dinner party assignments.

“The dinner parties are our favorite part of the ball,” Beall said. “We love how they bring together the most interesting people of all season —people you might not have known otherwise, but can now count among your dearest friends. “It’s especially wonderful for people who are new to the area because they provide and entree into friendships you can continue to build over time.”

More than 500 people are expected to attend this year’s black tie fundraiser. Every guest who purchases a ticket by Jan. 16 receives a personal invitation to attend a pre-ball dinner party held in one of Beaufort’s most beautiful homes. After dinner, guests will progress to the ball for an evening of dancing, a silent auction, and tiers of elaborate desserts. Once again this year, the event will be held at the Beaufort Memorial Medical and Administrative Center (BMAC), located across from the hospital.

Since its inception in 1990, the Valentine Ball has raised nearly $4.2 million for the non-profit hospital. Proceeds from the 2015 event will help finance the renovation and much-needed expansion of the Intensive Care Unit. With the renovation, the unit will accommodate 50 percent more patients. Other improvements will include state-of-the-art cardiac and invasive monitors, lift equipment, special ICU beds and thoughtfully designed family consultation and waiting rooms.

Tickets to the 26th Annual Valentine Ball start at $150 per person (including the pre-ball dinner party) and include several levels of contributions. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (843) 522-5774 or visit www.valentineball.org.