By Miah Harris
The Fifth Annual Gala of Hope Fundraiser, an evening of elegance, service and soothing sounds from popular band Party on the Moon, was held 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. The event was hosted by Hampton University and President William R. Harvey.
Students, faculty, staff and other special guests will join together once more to wine, dine and engage in stimulating conversation about future endeavors and the continuous fight against cancer. Over time, Hampton University's Proton Therapy Institute has provided over 1,200 patients with consistent care for prostate, breast, lung and other cancers. Although treatment numbers have not quite measured up to what was projected, scientists and doctors are continuously researching and working toward finding new ways to cure this disease.
"I still have high hopes for it. The baby isn't born full-grown. It's just like any other new business. I'm not discouraged at all," said Harvey told the Daily Press in an Oct. 17 account.
Several students have expressed such enthusiasm about The Gala of Hope's impact over the past years and what it will entail Friday evening. "I'm so excited to experience this gala because President Harvey has put so much time and hard work into the proton therapy center and to see 800-plus guests, including my peers, come together to support and celebrate that is a huge and wonderful accomplishment," said Davon Moore of Greenville, N.C. "And just to add, I am excited to see Sister Sledge."
As reported in interviews and videos, the university not only joins together for an important cause, but they have fun while doing so with music and other entertainment.
Event proceeds will cover the treatments of indigent and child patients, said Harvey at a Tuesday faculty meeting. This illustrious event comes at what some might consider a hefty price. Individual tickets for the Gala of Hope are $250, and $450 for couples.
Allie-Ryan Butler, an assistant professor in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications said, "I don't look at it as I'm paying for the ticket, I look at it as I'm helping change someone's life."
The black-tie affair featured a gourmet dinner, dancing and networking, and live music performed by Party on the Moon, which was voted America's No. 1 corporate and private party band and returned this year for a double encore performance. A silent auction will also take place during the gala's festivities.
This year's gala fundraiser will also allow cancer conquerors like Shondia McFadden-Sabari to express a sense of pride, belief and joy for an endless battle. "I scared the hell out of cancer so it took my breasts and left," McFadden-Sabari said proudly as she spoke about her journey to student leaders and other university members for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this week.
Malik Jones and Tyana Talley contributed to this report. All three writers are students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.