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Unique Black-Tie Bowling Charity Event Attracts Young Hampton Roads Philanthropists

More than 250 people came ready to strike out Alzheimer’s disease at the Young Adults for Alzheimer’s Awareness (YAAA!) For a Cure Black-Tie Bowling held at the AMF Chesapeake Lanes in Chesapeake, VA on March 2.

Sold out for the third year straight, YAAA! For a Cure Black Tie Bowling has become one of the more buzz-worthy to-dos of the South Hampton Roads spring charity events season.

And for good reason.

Though for a serious cause – raising money for Alzheimer’s awareness, research, and support services – the event doesn’t take itself seriously. As the name suggests, it is a black-tie affair. But similarities to a would-be stodgy black-tie gala end there.

This “formal on top” and “anything goes on the bottom” event has inspired some of the most inventive ensembles imaginable, and guests cannot wait to out-do their previous year’s look.

Front Row: Jeremy Branch (YAAA! Events VP). Second Row: Amy Sims, Rebecca Nairn, Alex Bartlett, Claudia Ford, Cristin Pond, Mary Hunter Hardison. Third Row: Ginny Harrington (YAAA! President), Sarah Jordan, Mary Ellen Baur, Emily Webb, Bridget Host, Kate Pringle, Betsy Beaman. Photo by Randy Tracy

Some lads who definitely are far from home! Photo by Randy Tracy

The formal part is easy. Female fashionistas might opt for a spaghetti-strap dress in satin, impeccable make-up, drop earrings, sexy up-do… et voilà… perfection! Men: bow-tie, white shirt, coattails, cufflinks… boom, done!

After that… anything goes!

Think slinky evening gown with and feather boa (for drama!); but, instead of a strappy sandal, how about Bozo the Clown shoes worn with rainbow colored stockings? Throw in men wearing Scottish kilts, couples in tu-tus, and maybe a “gorilla” led by chain, and you have one of the most unique, and entertaining dress-up extravaganzas in the area.

Heather Pasko (YAAA! founding member) at 2011 Black-Tie Bowling. Photo by Randy Tracy

Photo by Randy Tracy

Kyle Honeycutt (Gorilla) & Buddy Wirt. Photo by Randy Tracy

But wait… there’s more. Guests enjoy red carpet arrivals à la Hollywood, and a movie premier style ‘Step and Repeat’ for poses. As guests wow the “paparazzi,” a roving “reporter” peppers the ladies with the perennial red carpet question: “Who are you wearing?”

Inside, cocktails, food, an expansive silent auction, games, and dancing to music spun by one of the area’s most sought-after DJs awaits the guests. And, yes, of course, there’s bowling.

Sarah Butler. Photo by Randy Tracy

Doing “The Harlem Shake!” Photo by Randy Tracy

YAAA! For a Cure Black-Tie Bowling is presented by Young Adults for Alzheimer’s Awareness (YAAA!), a group of twenty and thirty-something young professionals who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. YAAA! members have monthly socials and organize several events to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter in Norfolk.

Black-Tie Bowling – now the group’s signature event – was created to attract a younger crowd who prefer to bypass the “stuffy” galas and dinners of yesteryear, opting rather for more active, more social, fundraising events. Today’s younger donor wants to engage with the charities they support through experiences.

Jeremy Branch (YAAA! Events VP) Photo by Randy Tracy

“YAAA! Hampton Roads is an action oriented group,” said Jeremy Branch, YAAA’s Events Vice President.

“We are a great group to join if you are personally affected by Alzheimer’s or would like to get involved in helping a great cause. YAAA! likes to follow the motto, ‘have fun, do good, end Alzheimer’s’ in everything we do.”

Jeremy whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease is a founding member of YAAA!

“We also raise funds to support the care of those affected, and to support the advancement of research towards a cure,” Jeremy said.

Gino Colombara (CEO, Alzheimer’s Association Southeastern Virginia Chapter) and his wife Grace join in on the fun. Photo by Randy Tracy

Photo by Randy Tracy

The 3rd Annual YAAA! For A Cure Black-Tie Bowling raised over $20,000 from sponsorship, team fundraising, ticket sales, silent auction, and raffles. The Swag Sponsor was Davenport & Company.

Photo courtesy of Kristy Wyngaarden, Alzheimer’s Association

Since its inception, YAAA! has raised close to $100,000 for the southeastern Virginia Chapter
The next YAAA! event is the 3rd Annual Kickin’ Alzheimer’s Kickball Tournament towards the end of summer/early fall.

Want to JOIN YAAA!?

Contact Brooke Floyd, Membership VP, at yaaa757.hr.va@gmail.com or click HERE for more information.

Like YAAA! on Facebook HERE

Click HERE for more photos from the 2013 YAAA! For a Cure Black Tie Bowling!

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Comments (2)

  1. Angie Wright Wednesday - 13 / 03 / 2013 Reply
    Way to go YAAAs!
  2. Ginny Harrington, President of YAAA! Wednesday - 13 / 03 / 2013 Reply
    Thank you for a great article! This is a super fun event and we appreciate everyone who comes out to support each year! To find out more about the YAAA! group, please follow the links at the end of this article. We are always recruiting new members to join in on the fun!

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