Ocean City Today

Prom Night kings and queens host fundraising events

By Kara Hallissey | Jan 11, 2018

(Jan. 12, 2018) The eight members of the Believe in Tomorrow royal court have only a few weeks left to raise money before the fifth annual “Prohibition Party” Prom Night takes place on Feb. 3, at Seacrets on 49th Street.

“The event will take place in the Morley Hall area with a prohibition theme and we are encouraging people to dress in 1920s attire,” said Wayne Littleton, coordinator for the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation Beach Respite Housing Program. “In the dining area, there will be a dinner buffet and Joe Smooth and Remy will play live music. It is bigger and better than it’s ever been.”

The buffet will include roasted potatoes and vegetables, jerk chicken, cheese tortellini, prime rib and sodas. Servers will be walking around with appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms and shrimp cocktail.

“Seacrets is gracious about everything,” Littleton said. “They support us so much and are wonderful people.”

Full Circle will play inside Morley Hall, there will be a photo booth and a couple different surprises throughout the night, Littleton said.

In addition, there will be a number of auctions going on, a chocolate fountain and a coffee bar from Eastern Shore Coffee. Sweet Disposition will provide all of the desserts.

“I want this to be a signature event,” Littleton said. “Because Seacrets is not open for the season yet, we have no limit on ticket sales.”

This year’s court includes prom king nominees Jeremy Brink, owner of Ocean 13 on the Boardwalk; Frankie Schmidt, of Alexander & Tom Digital in Baltimore; and Austin Gerachis, of Malibu’s Surf Shop.

Queen nominees are Maria McEvoy, owner of Sandals Bridal Shop in West Ocean City; Jessica Jersey, who works for a local real estate company; Stefanie Lundmark, of Delaware Elevator; EJ Foxx, radio personality on K107.7; and Erin Phillips, a youth wilderness guide and former Believe In Tomorrow participant.

“The competition has tightened up and some of them are doing pretty good,” Littleton said. “It is up in the air right now and the competition is still wide open. It’s going to be an interesting month of January to see what everyone does.”

Brink has a friend who stayed at the Believe in Tomorrow House in Ocean City with her child and being a dad himself, he “can’t imagine what these parents go through.”

“When Wayne came to the restaurant and asked … I thought it would be really cool to be a part of a great organization,” Brink said. “My friends and the families [who stay at the house] are so happy [spending time in Ocean City] even though they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.”

Brink has also donated his time and deejay skills to Believe in Tomorrow events.

“It means a lot to me to be a part of making these families happy,” Brink said. “I want to do as much as I can for Believe in Tomorrow.”

All tips made during his band Side Project shows and DJ Jeremy appearances will be donated to Believe in Tomorrow.

“I’ve seen the positive impact [Believe in Tomorrow’s Prom Court] had on my mom’s life [former queen Shelley Leach] and I wanted to team up with her and the amazing connections she has made and make a difference in someone else’s life,” Schmidt said. “I was at the gala last year and I’ve seen how happy the volunteers make the kids and how happy the kids make the volunteers.

“Believe in Tomorrow gives kids the opportunity to be happy in the form of a getaway and offers an escape from reality for families who need it the most,” he added.

Gerachis has interacted with Believe in Tomorrow families visiting Ocean City through his store, Malibu’s Surf Shop, on Eighth Street and the Boardwalk.

“I wanted to give back and do something beneficial,” Gerachis said.

Gerachis hopes visits to the store have made an impact on sick children.

“It is extremely important being able to give kids something to do, so they enjoy our town and experience in Ocean City,” Gerachis said. “Even being asked to be a part of this foundation … it’s been unreal.”

“You can’t say ‘no’ to Wayne,” McEvoy said. “It’s a great cause for children and their families. They get to have a relaxing week when their life is nothing but turmoil. How can you say no to kids?”

When Jersey was 18 years old, her mother passed way from breast cancer.

“My mom’s passion was kids and she couldn’t teach anymore because of the ramifications from her disease,” Jersey said. “This is my way of contributing. I taught high school for 10 years. And, 95 cents of every dollar [donated to Believe in Tomorrow] is used to help kids through the charity and that just doesn’t happen anymore.

“It was the first time in my life, I didn’t hesitate and felt compelled,” she continued. “It was the next natural step to dedicate my time to something so worthy. Believe in Tomorrow is about giving sick kids and their families the amazing Ocean City experience that us locals tend to take for granted.”

Lundmark is excited this event is bringing the community together for a good cause.

“A lot of people don’t know it’s here,” Lundmark said. “It is a time for families to be together and bond. I spent three weeks in the children’s ward at Hopkins and it was enough to realize having family there is going to get them through it. The house in Ocean City is a getaway with family to not think about life for a week.”

Foxx has donated her time to previous Believe in Tomorrow events.

“Having been a volunteer for many years in the past, you have a firsthand look at the joy these kids experience the very first time they see the ocean or dig their feet in the sand,” Foxx said. “There’s nothing like knowing that somehow, even in the smallest way, you have made a difference in the lives of these sweet cherubs that know nothing but treatments, doctors and hospital rooms. There are so many in Wicomico County that don’t even know it exists, which is precisely why I am trying to promote this noteworthy and phenomenal organization.”

Phillips visited the Believe in Tomorrow house for the first time during Christmas of 2001, just three months after she was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 8.

Upon leaving the house on one of her visits, Phillips left a letter to Wayne, which read, “Thanks so so so so so much for what you’ve done for me. It makes having cancer more enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed having something to look forward to while still being sick. I really appreciate it. You will be kept close to my heart,” and she signed it with “sending love.”

The Believe in Tomorrow facility on 66th Street is open year-round to provide a free getaway to the beach for critically ill children and their families whenever they may need to escape the stresses of their child’s illness.

Fundraisers such as Prom Night help raise money to provide essential week-long excursions to the Ocean City residence.

Families will have another location to escape the stresses of everyday life on 65th Street in the near future, which is just a few steps away from the back balcony of the 66th Street property.

The new location will serve military pediatric families, larger groups that may require the assistance of medical support or extended families because of their child’s illness and end-of-life circumstances, where the inclusion of grandparents, aunts, uncles and special friends will be fulfilled.

All proceeds from Prom Night will go toward renovations of the new beach cottage Believe in Tomorrow acquired on 65th Street in 2016 and the property will allow the nonprofit to host an additional 52 families in Ocean City each year.

Tickets to Prom Night cost $35. To purchase tickets for Believe in Tomorrow’s Prom Night, contact Littleton at 410-723-2842 or email wlittleton@believeintomorrow.org.

Visit www.believeintomorrow.org/ housing_bythesea.html to learn more about Believe in Tomorrow’s House by the Sea.


Believe in Tomorrow Prom Court events:

- Saturday, Jan. 13: Frankie Schmidt and Jessica Jersey will host an 80s-themed karaoke and dance party with DJ Tuff and Donnie Berkey at Whiskers Pub in Ocean Pines from 3-6 p.m. Dress in ‘80s attire. Giveaways and prizes. No cover. Silent auction, 50/50 raffles, photo booth, duck pond with prizes and a mystery candy bar raffle with prizes.

In addition, raffles for a week stay in March at the Gateway Grand on 48th Street, golf getaway at Sunset Beach in Cape Charles, Virginia, and a Maker’s Mark barrel stuffed with booze and bar decorations. For more information, call 410-208-3922.

- Tuesday, Jan. 16: Dress as your favorite literary character during “Ladies Night Out” hosted by EJ Foxx at Sobo’s Wine Beerstro in Salisbury, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best characters. Silent auction and four-course dinner with wine and cocktail pairings. Attendees are encouraged to bring a book to participate in a book exchange. Tickets cost $50. Call 410-219-1117 for reservations. Space is limited.

- Saturday, Jan. 20: Four members of the Prom Court – Frankie Schmidt, Jessica Jersey, EJ Foxx and Erin Phillips – will guest bartend during the “NFL Championship Party” at Sisters in Berlin from 6-9 p.m.

Spare Change will play music. Lite fare, giveaways, raffles and anyone who wears their favorite NFL team will be entered to win a prize package.

Twenty percent of all proceeds from store and bar sales will be donated to Believe in Tomorrow. There will be horse and carriage rides for an additional cost. Register to win an Alex and Ani bracelet. For more information, contact Littleton at 410-723-2842.

- Saturday, Jan. 20: “Cabin Fever Party” hosted by Stefanie Lundmark at the Cork Bar on Wicomico Street in Ocean City from 6-10 p.m. A donation of $20 at the door includes draft beer, food buffet, photo booth and raffles. Attendees are encouraged to dress in flannel. For more information, email SLundmark@delawareelevator.com.

- Wednesday, Jan. 24: EJ Foxx and Erin Phillips will host a “Prohibition Jewelry Heist” event from 6-9 p.m. at BJ’s on the Water on 75th Street in Ocean City. Silent auction with jewelry, sports items and Christmas-themed gifts. Lite fare, open mic night and Monkee Paw band. There will be $10 mystery boxes courtesy of Park Place Jewelers and a 50/50 raffle. Register to win an Alex and Ani bracelet.

Also, get raffle tickets for an autographed guitar signed by Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Kenny Rogers, Luke Combs, Lee Brice and Brothers Osbourne. Tickets cost $5 and the winner will be chosen at the event.

In addition, raffle tickets will be available for a night with country singer Justin Moore at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury. Tickets cost $10 and include two backstage passes and a limo ride to and from the show on Friday, Feb. 2. For more information, contact Littleton at 410-723-2842.

- Friday, Jan. 26: Jeremy Brink will host a miniature golf tournament at Old Pro on 68th Street from 5:30-9:30 p.m. with raffles, giveaways, prizes and a 50/50 raffle. A team of four costs $100, which must be paid before the event and includes play in addition to adult beverages from Third Wave Brewing Company, Ocean 13 and Hoop Tea.

Food from Ocean 13, 28th Street Pit & Pub and Mother’s Cantina. For more information or to sign up, contact “Jeremy Michael Brink” on Facebook.

- Saturday, Jan. 27: Erin Phillips will host a Purple Moose softball team reunion, open to the public with free admission and happy hour prices at 5 p.m. Reminisce about the ‘80s softball glory days. Music, photographs, an old game tape and championship trophies on display. A 50/50, booze basket raffle among others. Food provided by Dry Dock 28. For more information, contact Littleton at 410-723-2842.

- Ongoing:

Maria McEvoy is raffling off a four-night, five-day trip to Jamaica at Sandals Resort in Ocho Rios. Tickets cost $10 each or get three for $20. Drawing on Prom Night. Stop by Sandals Bridal Shop in West Ocean City to purchase tickets or call McEvoy at 443-944-4763.

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