BANGOR, Maine — A tropical atmosphere will blanket Bangor on a cold night in January. Palm-frond and Hawaiian-shirt magic will take place at the Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary’s sixth annual Beach Ball, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at the Bangor Civic Center. Those who wish — and many will, according to Paula Ballesteros, auxiliary past president, and Ginger Ward-Green, president — may rise to the occasion and dress in tropical attire such as shorts, sandals and clothing in the prints and hues of a south-of-the-Equator island.
The civic center will be decorated in beach themes, with colorful pails overflowing with snacks, beach chairs and towels, the ball’s penguin mascot, Phil, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, leis and inflatable palm trees, according to organizers.
The Tony Boffa Band, from the Portland area, will infuse the night with rock ’n’ roll music.
“The crowd really loves them,” said Ward-Green. This is the sixth year the band has furnished music for the Beach Ball. Anne Marie’s Kitchen will provide refreshments and a cash bar will be available. Tickets to the ball are $30 or $300 for a table of 10.
The ball serves as a fundraiser for the EMMC Children’s Cancer and Treatment Center, the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems and scholarships for nurses attending Husson University in Bangor.
The Beach Ball is one of the group’s major fundraisers of the year. The Auxiliary also raises funds through the hospital Gift Shop, its annual Kitchen Tour and other events.
“It’s a great time, a lot of fun,” said auxiliary member Helen Genco. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to go out with friends and serve a great cause.”
During the evening, raffle tickets for a pearl necklace from Quality Jewelers, a kayak from Old Town Canoe and a $25 gift certificate from W.A. Bean and Sons will be available for purchase. Winning tickets will be drawn Feb. 14. Also available will be tickets for a 50-50 raffle with the winning ticket drawn during the ball.
The auxiliary has championed the causes of EMMC since the group was founded in 1893, according to information at the auxiliary’s website. In those early years, a small group of women raised money for hospital projects through bake sales, charity fairs and other events.
“The auxiliary is a very active group. Our board is a true working board made up of professional women who work full time, but commit to the work of the group,” Ballesteros said.
“The women pull together in a unique way to see that the work gets done,” Ward-Green said. “I am thankful for them and for the support of the community we have enjoyed over the years.”
Since 1967, the group has raised $3.2 million dollars and its efforts have benefited the hospital in many ways, including the Coronary Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Rosen Cancer Center and the Children’s Endowment Fund.
The Beach Ball is usually a sold out event attracting more than 500 people, organizers said. Tickets are available by calling 973-5055 or visit emmcauxiliary.org.