Catherine “Frankie” Beacham didn’t buy two raffle tickets recently in hopes of winning a brand new car. She did it because she wanted to support Lower Cape Fear Hospice.
But as luck would have it, she drove away from the Audi Cape Fear showroom this week in her 2015 Cabriolet convertible.
The Southport resident claimed the top prize in the annual Lower Cape Fear Hospice’s (LCFH’s) raffle, held in conjunction with this year’s Last Chance for White Pants Gala, a major fundraiser for the local non-profit.
Just 1,500 tickets– at $100 each–were sold for a chance to win the car, federal taxes paid and all. LCFH met its goal and sold all tickets about two weeks prior to the gala on Aug. 29, according to spokeswoman Stacey Manning.
Beacham was announced as the winner during the gala.
“I was asleep in bed when my husband woke me with the phone call about me having the winning raffle ticket,” she recalled. “It took a minute or two for it to sink in because I was still half asleep. I was completely shocked that I won.”
Not that she wasn’t at least somewhat hopeful.
“I had been joking about it for weeks with a friend of mine who had also bought a ticket,” Beacham said. “We would tease each other about winning the car. He would say, ‘I stopped by and sat in my car today,’ and I would reply, ‘You mean my car.’ After I found out I had won, I just had to call him. I was so excited; I was pretty much incoherent when I talked to him. I don’t think he truly believed me until he saw Lower Cape Fear Hospice’s post on Facebook.”
But at heart was Beacham’s desire to support LCFH, which provides healthcare and comfort to people with advanced illnesses, as well as support and counseling to families and education to New Hanover and surrounding counties.
“My only intention in purchasing the tickets was to support Lower Cape Fear Hospice and the awesome work they do for the community. Of course, I’m pretty darn happy I won the car,” Beacham noted.
LCFH Foundation trustee and hospice volunteer Dave Pearce sold the winning ticket.
“We wouldn’t have met our goal without the support of our committee members and volunteers who worked hard to sell all of the raffle tickets. Also, we wouldn’t have been able to offer such a fantastic raffle prize without the generosity and support of Audi Cape Fear,” Lindsey Champion, LCFH development manager, said.
Thanks in part to the raffle, Manning said this year’s Last Chance for White Pants Gala was the most successful in the event’s history. The gala included a live auction for an electric, child-sized version of the convertible, a baseball bat and ball signed by Trot Nixon, and a backpack and gift package from Polka Dot Palm. Lori Butler had the winning bid of $3,300. Her employer, GE, matched her donation.
“All of our sponsors, gala committee members, hospice volunteers and guests had a hand in this year’s gala’s success,” Champion said.
Proceeds from the raffle and gala go to work immediately providing hospice services and programs to patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses.