A parent’s worst fear is finding out their child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Where do they go from there, and how can they help their little one persevere through the taxing treatments?
Chartway Federal Credit Union’s We Promise Foundation understands the challenges these families face, which is why the Hampton Roads-based nonprofit hosted two of the area’s most premiere events: the Diamonds in the Sky Gala and Charity Golf Classic. Thanks to these events and all of the foundation’s fundraisers that will be completed by year-end, the credit union’s charitable arm has reached a new fundraising milestone: $890,000 raised to make dreams come true for children battling life-threatening illnesses.
Kicking off the two-day fundraising rally was the star-studded Diamonds in the Sky Gala held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel. Teri Polo, star of ABC Family’s hit series, “The Fosters” served as the celebrity emcee alongside local WAVY-TV reporter Nicole Livas. Polo has been a strong advocate for the We Promise Foundation throughout the past several years and was even honored as a “Woman of Distinction” at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s fourth annual Women of Distinction Luncheon held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2011.
Legendary American rock band 38 Special, LPGA player Jill McGill, Washington Redskins alumni players Charley Taylor and Jimmie Jones, and more than a dozen We Promise kid heroes were also on hand. The evening featured a cocktail hour, a silent auction, an elegant dinner, and live entertainment by 38 Special. The event’s 415 guests were also treated to a rousing live auction that was hosted by professional auctioneer Kyle Haus and four-year old Tre, who received a custom-made play set earlier this year thanks to funds donated by the We Promise Foundation in partnership with the Roc Solid Foundation. The auction featured one-of-a-kind items such as a classic 1937 Pontiac Model 8, tickets to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course, and exclusive trips to places like St. Thomas, Napa Valley, and Lake Tahoe.
The following afternoon, a full flight of We Promise supporters had a chance to tee-off with well-renowned LPGA golfer Jill McGill at one of the most esteemed golf outings in the area: the Charity Golf Classic. Joining the 144 golfers were 20 We Promise kid heroes who arrived by limousine and buzzed around the course in golf carts where they had the opportunity to learn how to putt with the pros.
“We believe there is no greater inspiration than seeing people come together to bring young heroes encouragement during difficult times,” said Chartway’s President and CEO, Ron Burniske. “We are so appreciative of all of our celebrities and sponsors who help us deliver the gift of a dream come true when children need more than medicine.”
All proceeds from these two events will benefit children in the communities Chartway Federal and its divisions of HeritageWest and SouthWest Community serve. Since launching the Foundation, Chartway FCU’s We Promise Foundation has raised nearly $6,000,000.