CRESTVIEW — Covenant Hospice has $28,000 extra that can cover various end-of-life care services after its Blue Jean Ball surpassed fundraising expectations, Lill Jennings, development specialist, said.


CRESTVIEW — Covenant Hospice has $28,000 extra that can cover various end-of-life care services after its Blue Jean Ball surpassed fundraising expectations, Lill Jennings, development specialist, said.



“I think it’s gonna be more than that. We don’t have all the expenses in and we have more checks (to account for),” she said.



The Oct. 13 event, which brought fire juggling, mermaid waving, wench dueling and dancer-ogling fun to the Crestview Community Center netted $2,000 more than expectations, she said.



Proceeds for the “Magic on the High Seas” themed event will cover non-funded or under-funded services, Odin Berg, Covenant’s chief financial officer, said. These include coverage for uninsured patients — those who “fall between the cracks” and lack Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, Jennings said — along with bereavement, children’s support and chaplain services.



Funds came from ticket sales, a silent auction and event sponsors, namely supporters of four “Crestview stars” who worked with Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Crestview instructors for weeks to perfect their moves before appearing on stage. Dancer sponsorships were as follows: Michael Hamby, $3,151; Maryann McBride, $3,058; Sarah Fordyce, $1,637; and Bob Jones, $677.



Crestview’s “stars” —Hamby, of Chesser & Barr, P.A.; McBryde, of Okaloosa Title and Abstract; Fordyce of North Florida Financial; and Jones, Crestview High School principal —paired with instructors Aaron Stowell and Erika Moreno.



“They spend a lot of time and effort to train these people for weeks,” Jennings said of the dance studio.



Audience members howled to a dancing exhibition of The Village People’s “In the Navy” and “YMCA” and cheered for fast footwork during spicy Latin beats. The event featured lighthearted theatrical performances by a pirate and the wenches fighting for his affections, and was punctuated by décor and atmosphere that included aquarium centerpieces, a pirate juggling sticks of fire and a friendly mermaid greeting guests at the door.



Silent auction items included various vacation packages, jewelry and artwork, along with items like an autographed Lady Antebellum CD and an autographed Tim Allen photograph.



The Northwest Florida State College Soundsations performed a Broadway medley and later a crowd-pleasing rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”



The event’s financial success guarantees it will return next year, organizers said.



“We appreciate the support from the Crestview community, and the volunteers. Without them, it couldn’t happen. It just couldn’t happen.”




Contact News Bulletin Editor Thomas Boni at 850-682-6524 or tboni@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbeditor.



VIDEO: See "Related Media" at top left of this article.