The Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) Foundation recently announced that Dr. and Mrs. John W. Gray III will serve as honorary chairs for the 2015 Duke Symphony Orchestra Concert which will be held on March 28th at the USCB Performing Arts Center.
With deep ties to both BMH and Duke University, John and Molly have been actively involved in the fundraiser throughout its 12-year run.
“John and all three of our nieces went to Duke and my father, Hamilton Hoyler, was Duke’s business manager while we were in school,” says Molly. In fact, while both John and Molly were from Beaufort, they began dating while John was an undergraduate at Duke and Molly’s father worked for the University.
“We still find it hard to believe, but when John finished school and returned to Beaufort to open his family medicine practice in 1975, he was one of only 12 physicians at Beaufort Memorial,” says Molly. Together they have seen the hospital grow to nearly 200 physicians and 1600 employees since then and have been actively involved in supporting this growth.
While at the same time, their own family grew to three children and six grandchildren.
John followed in his mother’s footsteps in serving on the Hospital Board, while Molly has served on several hospital committees and hosted dinner parties and receptions to help raise funds. In addition, they have housed dozens of Duke Symphony Orchestra students who participate each year in the Beaufort concert.
“It’s always fun to host some of the students who travel all this way to volunteer for the weekend,” says Molly. “We’ve gotten to know some truly remarkable young men and women, and they seem to really enjoy their time in Beaufort.”
Once again this year, the Duke Symphony Orchestra Director Harry Davidson will lead the 60-piece ensemble through a program of classical works by well-known and emerging composers. The graduate and undergraduate students volunteer a full weekend away from school to travel to Beaufort for the concert.
“We love doing it,” says Davidson. “It’s a win-win situation. Every student who has ever made the trip has had a great time. And the community seems to welcome them readily.”
In fact, the young musicians are housed by local residents who join John and Molly in volunteering to host them for the weekend.
The concert has long been one of the Foundation’s most popular and successful fundraisers, having raised nearly $225,000 in support of BMH’s Healing Arts Program at the Keyserling Cancer Center and in the main hospital. Proceeds from this year’s concert will continue to support these important endeavors.
After the concert, patrons will have the opportunity to join Davidson and the students for a special Conductor’s reception just across the street at the historic Elizabeth Barnwell Gough House, home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Guilloud.
“It’s always a wonderful after-party,” says Alice Moss, executive director of the BMH Foundation. “The entire orchestra attends and, as you can imagine, everyone enjoys getting to know the students.”
Make plans to attend this year’s concert by visiting beaufortmemorial.org or calling 843-522-5774. General admission tickets are $35. Patron tickets start at $75 and include premium seating and an invitation to the conductor’s reception after the concert.