“It's tradition that each year we kick off the handbag bingo event by asking cancer survivors to stand and we give them a round of applause. It’s shocking to see so many people stand up, but beautiful at the same time. It’s not about how many people have had cancer, but how many have survived.”
Being a newer Beekley Associate, when I sat down to speak with my colleagues, Melissa Vibberts and Kelli Luker, Co-Chairs of Designer Handbag Bingo, I didn’t expect to hear stories like that!
They revealed to me how much of themselves they have invested in their four-year journey to help raise money for life saving mammograms in our community.
Bingo for Better Breast Health
All funds raised at Beekley’s Designer Handbag Bingo event go directly to supporting The Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness at Bristol Hospital (Bristol, CT). In fact, all proceeds from the first year’s event went towards the building of the breast center which evokes a spa-like environment to help make women feel comfortable by taking out the medical-look. Since then, funds raised at the event have gone towards the purchase of the the center’s bone density machine as well as their 3D mammography unit.
Thanks in part to Melissa and Kelli’s tireless devotion to running this event, the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness can offer the best in technology and environment.
A Tradition of Caring
Beekley Associates’s internal giveback to our community goes back decades, starting with a simple "pay to dress down" day in October, which is (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to help fund mammograms for under-insured women at Bristol Hospital. Eventually this Associate-led fundraising effort to promote breast health in our community grew in scope and became a day full of events, including a bake sale, raffle, and even a silent auction!
But Melissa and Kelli wanted to do more. This passion, along with an experience at a handbag bingo event in New Jersey, inspired Melissa. Beekley's Designer Handbag Bingo event was created soon after and was the first of its kind in Connecticut.
“It’s like planning a wedding every year,” Melissa says. Planning starts in January, where Melissa and Kelli donate many lunch and after-work hours to organize and prepare for the event.
Fast forward four years and we’re on the cusp of the 2016 event, to be held October 7 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Bristol, CT. This “annual girl’s night out” will host 300 people for 15 rounds of bingo, prizes, and an elegant sit-down dinner.
If you’re interested in attending this year's Designer Handbag Bingo, please check our Facebook event page and be sure RSVP and purchase tickets before they’re sold out.
Don't miss out on the fun!