The 18th annual Beach Ball to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Bellport is slated for Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Brookhaven home of Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild. The event will feature good food, good people and a good night out on the town, according to Jo Keim, a Bellport resident.
"Beach Ball is a great night, bringing our South Shore community together for a good purpose. We are fortunate that prominent residents, including this year’s hosts Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild, graciously host Beach Ball in their home settings, adding to the experience of a relaxed summer’s evening complete with catered food and drink, special events and personalities, live and silent auctions,” she said.
Tickets cost $200 upfront or $225 at the door and include hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, music and dancing with a live guest D.J. There will also be a live auction and a silent auction. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Bellport; all proceeds raised will go to the club’s operating costs.
This mission began 18 years ago with a few people who wanted to raise money for the club and has grown to be an event attended by more than 500 people annually, with a prospected nearly 600 in attendance this year.
Funds raised help ensure that nearly 900 children in our area have a place to “learn, grow and most importantly, feel a sense of belonging and community,” according to Barry Podgorsky, Beach Ball event chair and member of the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area. “We like to refer to our event as a ‘party with a purpose.’ ”
The party also gives the community an opportunity to come together to support a cause that is near and dear to their hearts, he explained. Bellport and the surrounding areas have been faithful supporters of the Boys & Girls Club over the years. At Beach Ball, guests can celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and look to supporting the club into the future.
Another feature of the evening fundraising event is a Live Art Experience, in which an 8” x 16” mural will be painted and will later be permanently hung at the Boys & Girls Club. Guests will be invited to sponsor the mural the night of the event.
Gregg Lhotsky, a Beach Ball committee member who organized the Live Art Experience, said the artwork will likely incorporate themes of “community,” but the idea is still being formulated.
“The mural will be 8" x 16" painted on a faux brick wall, meant to look like graffiti wall art, which has taken on importance as a respected genre. The finished piece will be installed at the club. I work with artists as part of my business, and I've been part of other live mural events. After meeting the artist Charles Fernandez, I thought that he would be perfect to do something similar as a guest experience for Beach Ball,” he said.
According to Lhotsky, this is the first time the Beach Ball event will feature a Live Art Experience, but the committee feels the feature will be welcomed by guests and that it will raise even more funds for the club.
“This is the first time that we have done something like this, so we have no idea how much we will raise. But we’re confident that guests will enjoy the experience and we hope to raise significant dollars along the way,” he said.
In addition to raising funds for the Boys & Girls Club, Podgorsky called Beach Ball a community-based event, speaking to the role volunteers have had in organizing and setting-up the event.
“It has always been a community-based event—and is supported by residents in so many ways in addition to financial support,” he added. “On setup day, you will see scores of volunteers from the community and surrounding areas, setting up tables, cleaning up trash, displaying auction items, hanging artwork, arranging flowers and anything else that needs to be done in preparation for our big event.”