By Eleanor Merrell
MOORESVILLE – The recently created non-profit organization, Charters for Charity, offers a new way for nonprofits to fundraise with style: luxury yacht cruises along Lake Norman.
Charters for Charity will partner with the Bring It 4 Braylon foundation for its inaugural trip on April 17.
The foundation was created in honor of Braylon Beam, a 7-year-old Denver resident who has neurofibromatosis type 1, which has caused a tumor to form on his optic nerve causing loss of vision.
The mission of Bring It 4 Braylon is “to help alleviate the burden associated with pediatric cancer by providing comprehensive support for families and individuals who are fighting the disease,” according to the foundation’s website.
The charter event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. and will have special guests on board, including Carolina Panthers football players Mike Tolbert and Thomas Davis. Two ticket packages are available, one for $150 per person, and the second for $250 per person. There will be an open bar as well as live entertainment and raffle drawings throughout the evening.
Bring It 4 Braylon aims to raise $100,000 by the end of the year. Charters for Charity hopes its event will account for 30 percent of that goal.
Kim Carper Branum founded Charters for Charity with her husband, Stephen Branum, in January.
When she posted on Facebook late last year seeking local charities that would want to partner with Charters for Charity, representatives from more than 40 charity organizations reached out, including Jesse Beam, who is the president of Bring It 4 Braylon.
“My little brother had leukemia when he was a toddler, so Braylon’s story has been very close to my heart,” Kim Branum said. “I had Jesse and his family over to our house for dinner… and we simply fell in love with all of them.”
Kim Branum has worked as an intensive care unit nurse with Carolinas Medical Center and Novant, and Stephen Branum is a physician assistant at OrthoCarolina.
“Stephen and I began discussing ways that we could give back…” Kim Branum said. “With both our backgrounds in medicine, we really wanted to find ways to help health-related charities in our area.”
Although Charters for Charity does not exclusively work with health-related charities, the Branums’ background made Bring It 4 Braylon an especially good fit.
Stephen Branum co-owns Luxury Yacht Charters, which possesses a 90-foot yacht that will be the vessel for all cruises sponsored by Charters for Charity.
Kim Branum now serves as the organization’s executive director and aspires to partner with a different charity each month. Eventually, Kim Branum hopes the organization will also be able to offer discounted services for charities that have not been selected as a monthly partner, in addition to donations for charities’ silent auctions.
Charters for Charity receives funding through private donations and Luxury Yacht Charters sales, 10 percent of which are given to the organization. Groups that are selected for the monthly partnership will be able to host their event aboard the yacht and access its catering services free of charge.
Upcoming Charters for Charity events include cruises on May 24 for Operation Walk Carolinas, Aug. 27 for the Sandbox and Nov. 6 for Ace and TJ’s Grin Kids.
For more information, visit www.chartersforcharity.com.