By: Kym Mirabella
The Cancer Association of Anderson (CAA), hosted it’s 19th Annual Girlfriend’s Tea on March 18, 2023 to raise funds for people in need due to cancer. Ladies (and some men) gather for tea, lunch, laughs and to raise money for anyone living in Anderson County in active treatment for any type of cancer.
The Girlfriends’ Tea is a fun and creative event. Each table of people craft a theme and decorate! After the auction of numerous items, participants vote on their favorite table the way of a donation to that table. The table who raises the most money wins. All funds raised are donated to the CAA.
Kim Ellison is a volunteer and organizer of this event. She explained why ‘The Girlfriends’ Tea’ charity event and in particular the Cancer Association of Anderson is so important. “I have known many friends and family that received the unfortunate diagnosis of cancer. When Director Angie Stringer asked me to come work with them, I jumped at the chance to help. It makes me feel good to help make a difference, to hold someone’s hand or give a hug, or to write a check to help cover some of their expenses.”
Ellison has helped organize The Girfriends’ Tea for four years. She said, “Once someone volunteers for this particular event they want to come back year after year as it is so much fun! Or if they attended as someone’s guest at a decorated hostess table, they want to host a table the next year and immediately start coming up with their theme and which girlfriends they will invite.”
Ellison elaborated by stating, “I would say that the uniqueness and creativity of the decorated hostess tables are what make this event so special. The Silent and Live auction items are always a hit! I think this may have been our best years yet!”
The Winners of ‘The Girlfriends’ Tea’ Ladies’ Choice Award for the Decorated Hostess Table contest was Plum Pretty by the Casey Group Real Estate, organized by Rhonda Boyce Fields, Broker, (BIC). They raised a grand sum of close to $4,000 for their table alone.
Fields explained why this event is important to her and Casey Group Real Estate, “As a whole, we truly believe local matters, and the fact that this event is supporting local individuals touched our hearts and we knew right away we wanted to participate as we have all known someone dear to us that has been afflicted by this disease.”
She continued, “We participated last year for the 18th annual Girlfriend’s Tea, and we won! It was our first experience with this organization, and we were blown away at the out-pour of support that we witnessed. It was a no-brainer to do it again. It brings our company together as a group to participate in such a unique event. As individuals it allows us to do something great in our community. We had the opportunity to reach out to local businesses, individuals, and our very own participants in an effort to gather donations for this cause. We ended up receiving the most donations, earning us the Ladies’ Choice Award again for 2023! We felt very happy and proud of all of our team members for the hard work they put in to acquire such generous support. As a close-knit unit here at Casey Group Real Estate we are passionate about opportunities to come together in order to thrive and be the best we can be to ourselves, each other, and the community.”
The Girlfriends’ Tea (and many of the CAA events) couldn’t be possible without numerous helpful and happy volunteers. Planning starts months in advance with inviting and staying in communication with hostesses, gathering bake sale and auction items, recording, tagging and pricing items, advertising, creating the program, meal prep and serving, arranging entertainment, event set up and tear down. It takes an army.
The Cancer Association of Anderson is a small charity that receives no money from the American Cancer Society or any Relay for Life events. All money raised comes from fundraisers such as the tea, the hot air balloon festival Called Hot Air Affair, Rising Above Cancer that will be held in Anderson the first weekend of September, and the Concert of Hope and Remembrance in October, and private donations. They also have a capital campaign right now to raise funds to build a bigger and better campus so that they can offer more services to patients and caregivers such as wellness programs (yoga, massage therapy, Tai Chi, etc.), have a certified kitchen for healthy food teaching demonstrations, meditation and reflection areas, pet therapy, etc.
CAA services to cancer patients include help with travel to and from treatments (mileage reimbursement, or an Uber that CAA pays for, or a ride in our patient vehicle), treatment related prescription medications, medical insurance premiums, nutritional supplements such as Boost, Ensure, Equate, etc.), specialized home health medical equipment, free wigs, hats, breast prostheses and mastectomy bras, free enrollment in CAA’s Well-Fit and exercise at Life Choice, educational and survivorship classes and referrals to other resources for patients and their families, and numerous support groups! Each patient can receive up to $1200 per year in assistance.
For more information on The Cancer Association of Anderson, (CAA), go to
https://cancerassociationanderson.org or phone: (864) 222-3500