Hope from Helen returns for eighth year

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lumina News file photo 

Guests formed a line out the door, down the hall and into the lobby of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort to get free food provided by Tower 7 restaurant during the Hope from Helen Surf Silent Auction on Dec. 2, 2011.

One of the biggest fundraisers of the year in Wrightsville Beach, the Hope from Helen Surf Silent Auction, continues to be a source of pride for event founder Tony Butler, and a way to honor his mother, Helen Butler, who the organization was started for in 2005. 

This year’s silent auction is set for Friday, Dec. 7, from
6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Butler said auction items are still coming in. So far 103 items have been donated for the silent auction, ranging from vintage 1960s surfboards, to an original George Pochepstov acrylic on masonite painting, to a four- or five-night South African safari for two to the Ezulwini Game Lodges in Johannesburg. 

Butler said the silent auction process would run smoother this year because he and his volunteers will be using iPads to make the transactions at the end of the night. Another change is the elimination of live music. Butler said he wanted to use the space in Blockade Runner’s ballroom, which is usually used for the band, to spread out the silent auction items. 

Proceeds from the evening will be donated by the Hope from Helen nonprofit organization to the vast number of other nonprofit organizations the charity supports, like the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Pink Ribbon Project, Adopt an Angel, Life Rolls On, Surfers Healing and Ocean Cure. 

Launched as Hope for Helen, the organization was formed as a way to raise financial support for medical treatment for Helen Butler, who was battling Stage  3 lung cancer and breast cancer with no health insurance to cover the expenses. The people he and his organization have helped make this event a special one for Butler. 

“We’ve had the surf contests and stuff, but nothing rivals this one. This is the one I look forward to the most every year,” Butler said. “This year, not being at Sweetwater and not having all that time taken away from me, I’m able to devote more time to this event and free my mind and make it more appealing to everyone who attends.”

The event is free and cosponsors Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill. The Blockade Runner will provide food and refreshments. Butler said he could always use volunteers the day of the event to help set up, and that those interested can email him at tony@hopefromhelen.com . For event information and a complete list of the silent auction items, visit www.wblivesurf.com 

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