Comedy presided over Hideaway Beach’s eighth annual Hideaway Chips Away at Cancer fund raiser. When event founder and auctioneer Bill Dean emerged wearing a snug pink ballerina tutu to begin the auction, the entire crowd roared with laughter.
Through all the smiles and sounds of spouses asking their partners to bid on items they really wanted, the serious subject of beating cancer remained a focus. When Dean asked residents at the dinner to stand if they had survived cancer, nearly a dozen rose to their feet.
“We lost three great friends last year to cancer,” Dean said. “It was great to see several people stand during the event dinner as survivors. That’s the goal to beat cancer with research, especially for kids.”
What began as a small beach walk event in 2002 has grown into Hideaway Chips Away at Cancer, an all day fund raising event with a golf tournament and dinner auction. The committee set a goal this year of $100,000, and according to committee member Joe Gardner the goal has been met and he is still counting.
“We have raised $328,000 to beat cancer over the last eight years,” Dean said.
Hideaway donates the funds to the American Cancer Society to assist fellow Marco Island residents and to pay for summer camp for children suffering from the disease. A primary focus of the group is donating a large portion of funds to cancer research with the goal of eliminating the disease entirely.
Hideaway Chips Away at Cancer committee members include Joan Archipley, Ken and Rhoda Bell, Don and Pat Crockford, Bill and Doreen Dean, Wayne and Sandra Eldred, Joe and Susan Gardner, Jim and Mary Grissom, Dan and Mitzy Guthrie, Jerry and Madelyn Harmeyer, Tom and Cindy Lally, Don and Louise Rooney, Tom and Linda Sessa and Linda Weisbrod.
The committee has built relationships with local businesses, who each year donate valuable items for the auction. While it might be tough for Dean to top his tutu outfit, he said the hard work to put on the event is worth it, because it could save a life.
“We’ll keep doing this until I run out of outfits,” Dean said laughing. On a more serious note Dean said, “The people on our committee are committed to continuing our giving.”