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Cancer Coalition of South Georgia fundraiser brings in more than $50,000

Former Hope Ball deemed a success

ALBANY — The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is calling its first ever fundraising gala a huge success by raising more than $50,000 for services, education, research and outreach efforts, officials with the Cancer Coalition announced.

A group of community volunteers approached officials in the fall of 2013 about the Cancer Coalition helping them continue the former “Hope Ball”, a longstanding tradition to raise funds for cancer research that had been previously sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

“We were honored they would bring the event to the Cancer Coalition,” said Melissa Goodin, development director for the coalition. “The volunteers were eager and experienced, and we immediately joined forces to continue this beloved tradition and well established event.”

The formal event, held on Feb. 1 at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Albany, included live and silent auctions with items ranging from gift cards provided by area businesses to a dove hunting trip in Argentina. A plated dinner was accompanied by music from Dr. Jose Tongol’s band JT’s Yoyos – Musicians Playing for a Cause, followed by dancing to the Hollywood Band.

Officials say nearly 300 members of the community were in attendance. This year’s event honoree was community advocate and cancer survivor Henrietta Singletary.

“I have lived and worked in this community for many years and I know the importance of the need to fight against our high rates of cancer,” said Singletary.

The 2014 A Night for Hope Committee members were Caitlin Bailey, Trena Champion, Sharon Gross, Denise Hall, Catina Hayes, Jade Kavanaugh, Nancy Mitchell, Lidia Olds, Debbie Reynolds, Julie Sellers, Vicky Stephens and Brittany Stalvey. Members of the committee as well as the Cancer Coalition staff expressed their excitement for the 2015 gala, for which planning will begin this summer.

Those interested in sponsorships or volunteering for next year’s event are encouraged to contact Goodin for information at (229) 312-1706 or melissa.goodin@sgacancer.org.