Party in pajamas

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Forget the full-length gown and black tie and come dressed in pajamas to the United Way of the Cape Fear Area’s fifth annual Pajama Party and Fashion Show.

The event, which will be held Friday, March 28, raises money for the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness and Reduce Homelessness in the Cape Fear Region.

Liz Makley, 10-year plan projects manager, said the party proceeds will benefit the Homeless Medical Respite Care Program, which is a partnership effort through the disAbility Resource Center.

The project provides short-term post surgical or acute medical assistance to aid the homeless with recovery from surgical procedures, illnesses or serious injuries.

“One of the things that we noticed in our area is that we don’t have discharge planning for people who are homeless and are leaving the hospitals,” Makley said. “It’s very hard for people to recover from an illness or an injury if they’re staying in the shelter or on the street. It’s not safe, it’s not clean for them to be out on the street and recovering or recuperating from a major surgery.”

In 2013, 250 people attended the party, raising $3,000 for the program and serving four people in need.

During the fifth annual event, there will be a DJ, fashion show, a breakfast-food dinner, raffle and silent auction, which will feature a signed Carolina Panthers football and two Hall of Fame baseballs, among other items. 

Attendees will vote for the best pajamas with an award going to the person with the most votes. Attendees are encouraged to have fun and be creative with the garment theme.

“We have everything from a onesie to a robe and pajama pants,” Makley said.

Around the same time of the event, United Way expects to hear back about a grant that could sustain a permanent program in the Cape Fear Region.

Since summer 2013, the Homeless Medical Respite Care Program began as a pilot program operating from trial and error.

“We’ve found out, obviously being a vacation spot, that in the summer it’s much harder for us to assist people,” Makley said. “There’s not as much available. The prices are extremely high, and typically when the weather is better, people feel better.”

They have also found that some people are in need of medications when they are discharged from the hospital. So prescription assistance, transportation to appointments and food are also provided through the program.

“Everybody recovering may have a different length of stay,” Makley said. “We aim for three days, because we’re not providing actual medical care, but if someone needs to stay longer, it will be case by case.”

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach. Tickets are $45 per person or $350 for a table of eight. For tickets, visit  


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