‘Afternoon Delight’ aimed to raise concern, dollars

The Starland Vocal Band produced a sensation with their 1976 hit “Afternoon Delight” and, this week, a group of local women hope to break ground in their own way. On Thursday, April 24, members of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority and several business owners in Bethany Beach will join together and host “Afternoon Delight,” a campaign to raise funds and awareness to benefit Beebe Medical Center’s Tunnell Cancer Center.

The event, set from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., will include “Chinese” and silent auctions, coffee, tea and other refreshments, as well as an entire evening of discounted shopping from some of the trendiest businesses in the area.

The Artful Bean, Japanesque boutique, Pitter Patter, Of All Things, Pelican Gallery and Gems by the Shore will open their doors and bring out the merchandise in an outdoor extravaganza with a powerful purpose.

Breast cancer affects millions of people around the world, with 1 in 8 women falling victim to a diagnosis. Without a cure, more than 1 million women will die in the next 25 years, according to studies.

“The money that we’re raising will go towards research, but primarily to the Patient Special Needs Fund,” explained sorority sister and breast cancer survivor Nancy Lathbury.

The fund helps to finance chemotherapy, gasoline cards, prescriptions, dental care and other necessities that patients cannot always afford.

“There are a lot of people being treated at the hospital who can’t afford it. This fund is one way we can help them out,” she said.

By giving back through this event, Lathbury said she will be able to thank those at the Tunnell Center who treated her with the utmost respect, dignity and care.

“During my treatment,” she said, “I was uplifted by the attitudes of the doctors, nurses and everyone there. They aren’t superficial, and they make your experience there a welcoming one. I can’t say enough about the way you’re treated there.

“It ought to be a really good time,” said sorority sister Cathy Kunst. “We’re really excited. This is a perfect way to raise awareness and teach others about the importance of knowing about breast cancer, and a great way to have a good time, too.”

“All of the businesses who are participating were eager to jump on board,” said sorority sister Mary Lou Meisler. “They gave donations and time. I don’t know what else they could have done.”

The Alpha Zeta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, established in Ocean View, has given back to the community over the years in a multitude of ways.

Their “Adopt a Family” program helps spread joy around the holidays to less-fortunate families within the Indian River School District. They have also collected coats for the homeless shelter in Georgetown and held spaghetti dinner fundraisers. Thursday’s event will mark the first time that the sorority and commercial establishments will work in conjunction for Beebe’s cancer research division.

Donations from other businesses will also be accepted. Cash donations of $25 will also be accepted from anyone wishing to participate in the event. For more information about “Afternoon Delight,” or to make a donation for attendance, contact Mary Lou Meisler at (302) 537-5618.