Ever since the first Nursing Charity Ball was held almost 16 years ago, nursing students have put on their fancy frocks and best suits for this annual event, and raised thousands of dollars for local community-based charities.
This year the Nursing Charity Ball is set for March 29 at the Holiday Inn in St. John's. It's a special night out that features dinner, dancing, live entertainment, and a silent auction.
The ball is one of the ways that nursing students come together to give back to community.
As the most anticipated social event of the season, the Nursing Charity Ball takes hard work and coordination to organize. Students at Memorial's School of Nursing (SON) and the Centre for Nursing Studies (CNS) join forces to help each other out, and begin making preparations in early fall.
One of their first actions is to nominate and choose their charity – a local organization that will be recipient of their fundraising efforts. This year it's Street Reach, a street-based outreach service that works with volunteers and community partners to offer outreach directly to people on the streets of downtown St. John's.
"We're into the final push now," said Megan Carey, a third-year student at the School of Nursing and one of the co-organizers of the charity ball, along with Kayla Tobin of the (CNS). "Right now we're on track to raise $8,000, though we'd like to raise $10,000."
Over the past few months students at the SON and CNS have raised money through bake sales, t-shirt sales, and social events.
"I think street reach is an important community service for the homeless population of St. John's and it's so great for both schools to be able to help fundraise for them," said Ms. Tobin, a second year CNS student.
Organizers are now collecting a variety of items for the silent auction, which is held during the charity ball.
Ms. Carey said nursing students are proud to be part of the long-standing tradition that is the Nursing Charity Ball.
"I heard so much about it (the charity ball) when I was in my first year, and I couldn't believe it was a student-run charity event," said Ms. Carey. "We work so hard to pull it all together and there's such a feeling of accomplishment because of that."
Past charity balls have raised funds for organizations such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre, The Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, and many others.
Community outreach and involvement is an important part of the culture at the School of Nursing, and active student-led chapters include the Heart and Stroke Foundation subchapter, the Canadian Diabetes Society subchapter, and Kidney Cancer Canada. The student-led chapters have organized educational conferences and events, and volunteered at special fundraisers in the broader community.
The Nursing Charity Ball is sponsored and supported by the SON's Nursing Society, which is also active in the Canadian Nursing Student Association (CNSA).
If you'd like to buy tickets for this year's charity ball, or make a donation for the silent auction, contact Megan Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kayla Tobin at email@example.com.