Register staff report
The name on the hospital may have changed, but the PACA Ball that supports it will be staged June 15 for the 42nd year, said Jill Williams, director of marketing and planning for Baptist Health-Richmond.
Despite repeated assurances that “the show will go on,” some still believe mistakenly the annual charity ball sponsored by the Pattie A. Clay Auxiliary would cease because of changes at the hospital, she said.
The volunteer organization that supports the hospital through the annual ball and other activities has kept the name Pattie A. Clay Auxiliary to maintain ties to the Richmond hospital’s roots and traditions, Williams said.
For the second consecutive year, the ball will literally “take the stage” at the EKU Center for the Arts, she said.
The ball will even use the theme of a Broadway musical and Hollywood movie, “Grease.”
Despite the theme, the ball will still be a black-tie event, said Lori Murphy-Tatum, PACA Ball co-chair. However, no one will be turned away if they show up dressed like John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John, she added.
With 22 junior hostesses participating in early activities, interest in the PACA Ball is just as strong as ever, Williams said.
The young women helped the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department put on its annual Easter Eggstravanga on March 31 and participated in the traditional etiquette class. They also will be planting flowers on the hospital campus.
The junior hostesses will participate in a fundraising fashion show June 8, also at the EKU Center for the Arts.
In addition to introducing them to society, the junior hostess program also introduces the young women to the type of community service practiced by PACA Auxiliary members. Their tradition of service to the ill and injured goes back to the Civil War Battle of Richmond when Pattie A. Clay and other local women cared for wounded soldiers.
Invitations to the ball will be mailed in early May, Williams said, but invitations are not necessary to attend. Reservations can be made online after invitations have been sent.
Those who want to attend are advised to make reservations as soon as possible, she said, because seating will be limited to 350 this year. In past years, up to 400 or more have attended.