Dataw Island Club members are battling it out on the golf course, tennis courts, croquet lawn and even through a battle of the bands in an effort to fight an even bigger battle, the “Battle for Life.”
The 15th annual Battle for Life cancer fundraiser is a volunteer-driven event that has become an institution on the Island. Since 2002, about 300 Dataw members each year have been dedicated to supporting the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation to benefit the Keyserling Cancer Center, an innovative cancer treatment facility located right here in Beaufort, SC.
The Center reports that without donations like the ones from Dataw, the entire Cancer Center would not have been possible.
“Nearly 10% of all contribution received by the BMH Foundation over the past 30 years have come from the Dataw community” reads the 2014-2015 BMH Keyserling Foundation report Giving Well; Recognizing Our Supporters.
Dataw Island Members are happy to continue this support, some through participating in one of the sporting events, while others are creating hospitality baskets for patients receiving treatments at Keyserling.
The events comprise a golf tournament with a huge raffle, a tennis tournament and their almost-famous “Partee,” and even a croquet tournament. Now in its fourth year, the croquet component has added a lot of sporting fun for those who may not necessarily be athletes – the skills tests are quick to learn and the top ten competitors go head to head in an exciting shoot-out finale.
“Dataw is a giving, active community that is always ready to help,” said Bruce Stevenson, Croquet Club of Dataw Island president. “Beaufort Memorial Hospital and Keyserling are favorite benefits that we have fun supporting. Helping enterprises that help others is what it is all about."
This year, a new addition to the series is a Battle of the Bands, in which four local bands performed and members “voted” for their favorite band by stuffing their donation jars. The band with the most money at the end of the evening won big – not only earning bragging rights and half of their “take,” but they also won knowing that they were able to raise the most money for the Battle for Life, as the other half of the funds will be donated to the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation along with the rest of the event donations. Battle of the Bands competitors included The Debbie McDaniel Band, the Sometimes Later Band, The Rose Family Band and 503, a group of high school seniors who walked away the winners Sunday night.
Dataw member Celeste Nalwasky, this year’s chair of the golf tournament, says that the support from Dataw members is nothing short of amazing.
“Dataw members are very supportive of Beaufort-area non-profits and civic groups,” Nawalsky said. “You can hardly blink around here without walking past a neighbor on their way to volunteer one place or another.”
She also noted that this particular event is close to home for many members, saying that “Cancer is now so wides