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Southern Regional's Crescent Ball this month

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

For more than 15 years, proceeds from Southern Regional Medical Center's Crescent Ball have helped fund many of the hospital's medical advances and offset the cost of treating its patients.

Two Saturdays from now, the black-tie event will take place again, this time with a masquerade theme.

Crescent Ball 2010 is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28, in the Atlanta History Center's Grand Overlook Ballroom, located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., in Atlanta.

The event will start at 6 p.m., with a cocktail hour, in which patrons will have the museum, and its exhibits, to themselves. Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m., and attendees will have the chance to participate in a raffle for more than 50 prizes, including a 46-inch, LCD (liquid crystal display) television, with Blu-ray technology, and a week-long vacation in Fort Myers, Fla., according to hospital officials. Raffle tickets are $25 each.

Admission to the affair is $200 for individual tickets, and $500 for support-level sponsorship tickets. Andrea Mendez, development coordinator for the hospital's fund-raising arm -- the Southern Regional Medical Foundation -- said all of the money goes directly back to the hospital.

"It's [the Crescent Ball] a night when the vendors, the staff, the administration ... we all come together to celebrate the hospital," Mendez said. "The hospital needs to fund-raise because the cost of health care, and the cost that the hospital gets reimbursed for -- there is a gap," said Mendez.

"All the money that we raise, because we are a nonprofit, goes right back into the hospital."

Over the past 15 years, the Crescent Ball has raised approximately $1 million for the hospital, according to Mendez. She said funds from the ball have supported the hospital's Women's Life Center, its heart and vascular program, and recently, the purchase of a da Vinci surgical robot, capable of performing minimally-invasive surgery.

"Last year, the event's net total was $108,000," Mendez said. However, "so far, attendance is at record numbers. We have about 400 people coming so far. Two years ago, the record in terms of fund-raising was $130,000, and we have already surpassed that."

The theme for this year's ball is, "Unmask a Bright Future," which will highlight the hospital's recent technological advances. The backdrop for the ball will be a Venetian masquerade, in which patrons will be encouraged to wear decorative masks.

"We're encouraging people who purchase tickets to go online and order their masks," Mendez said. "We will also have masks for sale at the event, unique masks that we got from a vendor at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. They will start at $15 each and go to about $20."

Mendez said the event is at near-capacity, but that tickets are still available.For more informationl, call (770) 991-8004, or visit www.southernregional.org/about-us/foundation.