Christy considers the group of volunteers with whom she works as extended family members. “We’re there for each other,” she says. “We spend so
much time together, I feel like we’re sisters.”
It all began when Christy, a native of Chapel Hill and a recent UNC graduate, was asked by Susan Reda, whom she knew from the Siena Hotel, to volunteer for the 2006 Tickled Pink event at Galloway Ridge. She liked it and next volunteered at the 2007 Beach Ball. Christy, a member of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, recruited fellow members to help at the Beach Ball.
She also asked her mother. Dina Bray helped at the registration desk, checking people in to the event. “Not overwhelming and a good way to start as a volunteer,” she says. Dina has continued to volunteer at many UNC Lineberger events. She and her husband Joe are also longtime and dedicated volunteers at University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. Between them they have served as deacons, worked with the Sunday school, and the kitchen and reception committees.
Joe Bray, a native of Siler City and UNC graduate, shares his professional photography skills at events, capturing important moments and making memories for attendees. Wife Dina says, “He’s a social person and he loves to take pictures, so he really enjoys this volunteer work.”
Christy explains that “walking through the new cancer hospital is so rewarding because I know that I have helped to raise funds so that the staff can help more patients and families.” Dina Bray concurs, “It’s a way to give back to the community. I love it, and I feel fulfilled.” Although none of the Brays have had cancer, they have had family members die of the disease.
Christy says, “I have friends who have had cancer, and volunteering for UNC Lineberger is my way of honoring their experience.”
Mary Seagroves, UNC Lineberger special events coordinator, says, “The Brays have been a wonderful family to work with. While their family hasn’t been
touched directly, they understand the importance of the cause and have dedicated themselves in a way to help support the patients and families who have. Lineberger is fortunate to have the involvement of such a giving and caring family.”
Christy has been a party planner and event organizer before she volunteered at UNC Lineberger as well as her Junior League work. “It’s what I do,” she explained. “The change of venue for The White Party gave us a chance to make some changes in the event.” Although Christy is their daughter, when it comes to UNC Lineberger volunteer work, “we’re a team, and she’s the boss,” Dina says. “It’s the one time I defer to her.”
Christy says, “It’s so cool for our family to be able to support each other as volunteers. We get to see the results of the work we talk about at home
before an event. It’s wonderful to have Lineberger in my life.