Each year at the ball, the prestigious Grado Award is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly in the fight against cancer. The 2018 honorees are Marco Island residents Ray and Louise Jean.
The 2018 event will celebrate 35 years of fighting cancer with funds raised by this annual gala. In January 1983, the black tie social, then known as the American Cancer Soiree, was held at the original Island Country Club. Corrie Grado, then known as Corrie Llewellyn, was the general chair, assisted by co-chair Norma Beckwith.
Grado reminisced of those first days of the event. “I was serving on the Board of the American Cancer Society in Naples where a fundraising ball was held each year. I thought to myself, ‘Why not have a fundraising ball on Marco Island?’ Many people thought it couldn’t be done.” She proved otherwise. The first event, attended by 250 people, was known as the Rose Garden Ball, as the country club was turned into a floral garden with lattice work and hundreds of tiny lights, illuminating the way for Marco Islanders to help find a cure for this deadly disease. The success of the event eventually led to the establishment of Marco Island’s own ACS office, founded by Corrie Grado and Paula Tateo. Now known as the Imagination Ball, each year this elegant and truly special event creates an evening that inspires us to imagine a world without cancer.
Marco Island has proven itself to be a community that can endure, recover and survive. On February 10, 2018, please join us to prove this once again as we “Reach for the Stars to Find a Cure.” Together, we can do more than just imagine a world without cancer. We can make that dream a reality.
For more information about the Imagination Ball, please contact your American Cancer Society at 239-642- 6217 or Sue.Olszak@cancer.org.