About 150 were on deck to support Sandestin’s Serve2Cure last week at Proffitt PR’s Girls Night Out aboard the Solaris.
The three deck levels were filled with local women who came out to spend time with girlfriends and raise funds, to the tune of $4,682.38, for Serve2Cure’s local breast health efforts.
This is the fourth Proffitt PR-hosted Girls Night Out, an event which started about a year ago.
“It all started back during the holidays,” said Jessica Proffitt, who said she was fielding many questions of “Jess, what are we doing for the holidays?”
Within five days, the hostess extraordinaire and 100 girlfriends were celebrating the holiday season with food and wine at Tuscany Bistro.
A few months later, the next Girls Night Out was held around Valentine’s Day at Marlin Grill in Baytowne. The second event was an even bigger success with a turnout of hundreds.
With so much support for the event, Proffitt realized she could use Girls Night Out as a catalyst for raising money for charity.
And she did — by the thousands.
At the next Girls Night Out at Harbor Docks, Proffitt PR, its sponsors, and 300 attendees raised about $4,000 for Planting Peace, a Destin-based nonprofit that deworms children around the globe.
With that success, planning for the next event began. All was falling into place for the event scheduled for late September, but Proffitt found herself looking for the next beneficiary.
“I knew we were coming on to October, and I really wanted to benefit breast cancer,” she said.
That’s when she was approached by Julie Liebetreu, coordinator of Serve2Cure at Sandestin, a charity tennis event which raises funds to provide breast health services for underserved women at Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast.
“I thought, ‘Perfect,’ ” said Proffitt. “I wanted to do it on the local level.”
Last year, Serve2Cure raised $15,000 to benefit local women afflicted with breast cancer, and they are now well on their way to reach their $20,000 goal for this year.
“Sandestin Serve2Cure second annual breast cancer fundraiser partnership with Proffitt PR proved to show how local businesses can join forces to achieve even greater success,” said Liebetreu.
Proffitt said the work was staggering to pull off the two-hour event for 150 women, which was complete with raffles, silent auctions, entertainment, food and beverage, but that it was all worth it.
“It’s a lot, but I love it. I’m blessed for all of the donations,” she said.
The event offered Ta-ta Tinis, a FaceTime photobooth, a Kilwin’s chocolate fountain, and a Solaris sunset cruise. Sponsors came out in droves to provide raffle and silent auction items, from jewelry to monogrammed items to event tickets. In the spirit of better breast health, five complimentary mammogram appointments were donated by Bethany Cazenave, MD, at Coastal Radiology Associates in Fort Walton Beach.
But as much as there was to enjoy, the effect was greater than the entertainment.
“It really opened people’s eyes about the cause,” said Proffitt. “And the impact will stay local.”
The next Girls Night Out will be a Holiday Soiree Nov. 29 at Marlin Grill in Baytowne. Proffitt says she has yet to choose a charity, but aims to “spread the love” to a new organization.
There is still an opportunity to aid in the mission of Serve2Cure at the event today, Oct. 6, at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Sandestin Tennis at 267-7060 to sign up. Cost is $100 for the event, which will include the tennis tournament, breakfast, a fastest serve contest, silent auction, raffles, prizes and lunch at Graffitti's in Baytowne Warf.