Heroes drop the ball, on purpose

Published 1:12 pm Friday, April 5, 2013

 Pick a ball, any ball, and you may just win $1,000 this weekend.

Saturday morning at Warren Field in Washington, the American Red Cross will host a ball drop, in which numbered balls will be dropped out of a Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS cherry picker from on high. The ball that lands closest to a set point wins ($1,000). As does the second closest ($500) and the third closes ($250). Winners may also find themselves in possession of a $100 gift certificate to Wine and Words, a gourmet food and wine shop in downtown Washington, and Greg Ward Photography.

The public is invited to test its luck — $20 buys one chance, $100 buys six — and indulge in a breakfast of coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts prior to the ball drop, as well as a PotashCorp-Aurora sponsored lunch of Jersey Mike’s subs afterward.

“This is the first time we’ve done the ball drop in some years,” said Bill Brent, regional chief executive officer for the Red Cross. “Last year was the first year we did the campaign in Beaufort County. We thought we’d do (the ball drop) as a victory celebration — something a little fun and an additional fundraising opportunity for us.”

The ball drop marks the end of the Red Cross’s Heroes Campaign, a culmination of six weeks of fundraising that encompasses March’s Red Cross Month. Heroes, either individuals, groups or businesses, sign on to raise $1,500 to be used locally for supplies and services when disaster strikes and the Red Cross responds.

While he’s unsure of the true tally, Brent thinks the Beaufort County heroes have raised upwards of $30,000 in this year’s campaign, but it was local realtors who boosted fundraising for the actual ball drop.

According to Rich Morin, Century 21 realtor and Red Cross volunteer, three real estate companies (Century 21, The Rich Company and Coldwell Banker Coastal River Realty) raised money the money for the Heroes Campaign’s last hurrah.

Brent said chances are still for sale at the three realty companies above, as well as at the Red Cross office on Market Street in Washington. The ball drop is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday and chances will be sold onsite prior to the event, according to Brent.