Ryan Christian takes charge of the 2011 Valentine Ball Silent Auction

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

February 3, 2011

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Ryan Christian

When I ran into Ryan Christian several years ago at Belk Department Store, I was shocked to see my sorority sister in then small town Beaufort.

“Ryan Walker, what are you doing in Beaufort?” I asked.

“Remember, my boyfriend I met at Sea Island when we were at Clemson,” she said. “Well, I married him, and he just joined a practice (Beaufort ENT and Allergy) in Beaufort.”

I was ecstatic! Many moons ago, it seemed our beloved small town was vacant with young professionals.  In just a few short years, Beaufort has grown to include hundreds of smart, young couples, each dedicated to making Beaufort an even better place to live.

Ryan and DJ Christian are an example of one such couple, volunteering their time for Riverview Charter School, St. Helena’s Episcopal Church and, of course, Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Ryan is the chair of the silent auction committee for the hospital’s upcoming Valentine Ball, Love in any Language.  As you may have seen in previous issues, the silent auction is packed with exciting items that Ryan and her committee sought and confirmed for this year’s fundraiser.

All proceeds from the auction and the entire evening will benefit the expansion of the George N. Pratt and Sarah Meyer Pratt Emergency Center. This much needed renovation will enable Beaufort Memorial Hospital to better serve the entire community.

Ryan’s silent auction committee includes Dawn Brown, Mary Lou Cullen, Liz Murdaugh, Katie Phifer, Lisa Presnell, Jennie Wood and Courtney Worrell. Each of these women worked diligently to seek donated items ranging from fabulous trips, near and far, sporting events, unusual packages of foods and services, art from well-known artists and quite a bit of fashion.

And don’t fret if you can’t go to the ball. Open bidding is extended to the general public prior to the ball, which will be held Saturday, February 12. The highest bid received in this manner for an item will be recorded by the auction committee and will represent the current high bid for that item at the commencement of the Valentine Ball at 9 p.m. Rules (including good faith deposits) and guidelines for bidding prior to the ball are available from the BMH Foundation. You may call (843) 522-5774 for more information.

As most sorority and fraternity alumni know, philanthropy is nurtured in college. Though our parents may have planted the seed much earlier, it is in those formative, collegiate years when we learn that giving back is our reward, not our duty.

Gone are the days of organizing mixers and socials. But, these are the days when all that practice begins to pay off, for the betterment of a community.  It’s people like Ryan Christian who continue to put long hours toward fun and memorable events that will yield compassionate giving. In this case, the end product will be an Emergency Room that is needed by each and every one of us in Beaufort.

So, thank you Ryan. And thank you Tri Delta. Philanthropy is alive and well, as it should always be.

A complete list of silent auction items can be viewed on the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation’s website, http://www.bmhsc.org. Thank you to all of the donors who contributed items in this year’s Valentine Ball Silent Auction.

Some Silent Auction Items

Fashion Extravaganza in New York City: The winning bidder will receive two VIP tickets to Carmen Marc Valvo’s fall fashion show in New York City. The following day, the winning bidder will also have an appointment to visit the designer’s showrooms, where he will help the winners select a gown or cocktail dress of their choice and will sign a copy of his book “Dressed to Perfection” to be released by Rizzoli Publishers this September. Minimum Bid: $1,000.

Quail Hunt at Chelsea Plantation: This traditional quail hunt at exclusive Chelsea Plantation is a once in a lifetime adventure. A morning hunt on mule-drawn wagons is for a party of eight. Following the hunt, the winning bidder will be served a three-course outdoor meal overlooking Hazzard Creek surrounded by famous camellia gardens. Minimum Bid: $1,200.

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Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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