Ronald McDonald House Holds ‘Wonderland’-Themed Gala in April

For the second year, The Ronald McDonald House is holding a Storybook Gala in Chapel Hill, to benefit all the great work the organization does for North Carolina families.

This time, it’s the “Storybook Gala in Wonderland” at the Carolina Club on Saturday April 5, and it promises to be a wondrous event.

Guests will be served a spectacular three-course meal, and mingle with the likes of The Red Queen, The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, and of course, Alice.

UNC football Head Coach Larry Fedora will also be there.

“Last year was our inaugural Storybook Gala event,” says Elizabeth Hullender, Director of Special Events and Marketing for The Ronald McDonald House. “And every year, the concept is, we will pick a different storybook to base the ‘gala’ theme on.

“Last year’s was ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and this year, we chose ‘Alice in Wonderland.’”

There’s a wealth of material that comes out of Lewis Carroll’s classic – giant mushrooms, Mad hatters, and tea parties, just for a start.

There’ll be some special lighting to help transform The Carolina Club into Wonderland, and artists from Playmakers have volunteered to make it all come to life.

All this food and entertainment is to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill. The event runs from 6 until 11 p.m.

“Guests will be greeted by Alice herself,” says Hullender, “and will walk down a black-and-white checkerboard into a ballroom, where they will enjoy cocktail hour and passed hors’ douvres for the first hour-and-a-half.”

Dinner will be served at 7:30. That will be followed by a presentation of upcoming plans for Chapel Hill’s Ronald McDonald House in the near future.

“We’re breaking ground on April 22nd on a 24,000-square-foot expansion,” says Hullender. “We’re going to be doubling in size.”

Currently, the house serves 2,200 families a year, but has to turn away 800. Hullender says she’s hopeful that won’t be the case once expansion is completed.

After the presentation, the gala kicks into high gear at 9 p.m., when The Fantasy Band from Rock Hill, SC plays soulful music for dancing guests over the next two hours.

There will be items up for auction, and Diamonds Direct has donated a ruby-and-diamond necklace to be raffled off to one lucky guest.

It goes without saying that it’s all for a great cause.

“Since 1988, The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill has provided families from all over North Carolina and beyond a place to stay when their child is being treated at North Carolina Children’s Hospital,” says Hullender.

The Ronald McDonald House provides guests not only with shelter, but with food, activities, and transportation to-and-from the hospital.

The House is always happy to take drop-off donations of common household items such as paper towels and laundry detergent at its 101 Old Mason Farm Road location.

The Carolina Club is located at 550 Stadium Drive. Tickets are available at or at 919-913-2045.

Board Of Visitors; Carolina Kids Classic; Deputy Chief Outstanding Leadership

CHAPEL HILL – The UNC Board of Trustees appointed new members to the serve on the UNC Board of Visitors, an active volunteer group at the University.  The new members come from alumni and friends who will participate in a 175-member board that actively assists the Chancellor and Board of Trustees with activities ranging from marketing and recruiting to fundraising.

Members of the Board of Visitors also serve as ambassadors between the school and their communities informing both about what is going on.  The members serve four-year terms, and every year as members rotate off, new ones are elected.  This year, Patty Hill and William Moore of Chapel Hill have been selected to serve on the Board of Visitors from the Orange County area.  Beginning July 1, the members will take their spot on the Board chaired by Dr. Michael Zollicoffer of Baltimore.


  • Richard Wallace Gunn Jr. of Burlington


  • Brian McMerty of Winnabow


  • Billy Lee Price Jr. of Hickory


  • Antonio Braithwaite of Durham
  • Henry Kaestner of Durham
  • Christine Cecchetti Mumma of Durham


  • John Robert Mattocks of New Bern


  • Ancrum Boykin Newman of Winston-Salem
  • William D. Spry Jr. of Winston-Salem


  • Brian David Bailey of Charlotte
  • David Charles Belton of Charlotte
  • Irvin W. Hankins III of Charlotte
  • E. Hooper Hardison of Charlotte
  • Frank H. Hill of Charlotte
  • Jane McColl Lockwood of Charlotte
  • Malcolm Logan of Charlotte
  • John Branch Stedman Jr. of Charlotte


  • Sharon Nicholson Harrell of Pinehurst

New Hanover

  • Margaret G. Diab of Wilmington
  • Carol E. F. Malloy of Wilmington


  • Melanie Floyd Biese of Chapel Hill
  • Leonard J. Buck of Chapel Hill
  • Lori Ireland of Chapel Hill
  • John Peter Preyer of Chapel Hill


  • Henry Lewis Smith of Farmville


  • W. Britton Cobb Jr. of Raleigh
  • Christopher Thomas Hayes of Raleigh
  • Charles Foster Marshall III of Raleigh
  • Randall W. Williams of Raleigh
  • Mary Brent Smith Wright of Raleigh



  • Robert William Kadlec Jr. of Manhattan Beach


  • John Lacy Kennedy of Riverside


  • Philip Flayderman Blumberg of Coral Gables


  • Michael Steven Brown of Atlanta
  • C. Knox Massey III of Atlanta
  • Charles H. Mercer III of Atlanta
  • Arthur Jay Schwartz of Atlanta


  • Polly W. Surhoff  of Cockeysville


  • Sarah Robbins Mars of Boston

New York

  • Karl Franklin Brumback of New York
  • Sanford Alonza Cockrell III of New York
  • Nikhil Mittal of New York

South Carolina

  • F. Daniel Batten III of Charleston
  • H. Alexander Winters II of Charleston


  • Robert E. Thackston of Dallas


  • N. Thompson Long of Fox Pointe


Thursday, the Carolina Kids Classic celebrates its 25th anniversary of the CKC golf tournament.  Since its inception in 1988, the Carolina Kids Classic has raised more than three million dollars to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.  Proceeds from the Golf Tournament go towards helping these programs.

The Golf tournament takes place at Finely Golf Course with top-name participants including: UNC Basketball coach Roy Williams, UNC Football Coach Larry Fedora, Former UNC basketball star Phil Ford, Co-founder of CKC Woody Durham, and a 14-year old patient from the N.C Children’s Hospital.

For more information on the Tournament contact Danielle Bates at, or for more information on the Ronald McDonald House visit  and NC Children’s Hospital visit


Deputy Fire Chief Matt Lawrence has received an award for Outstanding Leadership from North Carolina Safe Kids.  Chief Lawrence served as the Orange Chapter of Safe Kids Chairperson and worked to improve the program in the area.  He kept the coalition between the fire department and Safe Kids going while also coordinating the first Orange County Summer Safety Event.

Chief Lawrence dedicated much of his career to improving safety for all citizens and is honored by this award for his work and effort.  Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries to children, the number one killer of kids.

For more information on Safe Kids visit