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Since 1925, the Junior Board of Sheltering Arms has been helping to raise money for patients in financial need. After hosting many food and fund drives in the early years, they determined a new fundraising course was needed.

The Junior Board held their first debutante ball on Monday, June 17, 1957 and in the end, the $15 ticket raised $8500 for the hospital. Inspired by the wooded surroundings of the Country Club of Virginia, they settled on the name Bal du Bois – “Woodland Ball” – and a tradition was begun.


It’s more than a party! Since the inception of the Bal du Bois, the Junior Board has contributed more than $3.8 million to Sheltering Arms to help serve Richmond patients. These funds have helped pay for medical care and provide financial assistance for patients who have suffered setbacks from illness and injury. Ultimately, these funds have helped people regain their lives.


Upcoming Dates For The Bal du Bois

Friday, May 31, 2019
Friday, May 29, 2020
Friday, June 4, 2021

Questions? Contact:
Elisabeth D. Mullins, President
Email elisabethdmullins@gmail.com or call 804-240-0728


Bal du Bois Photos Provided by:

Wendell Powell Studio
&
The Junior Board of Sheltering Arms

Monumental Years In The History Of The Bal du Bois

  • 1961 – The pastel tea-length dresses of the preceding years were replaced with more formal attire, as the 18 year-old girls donned white gowns and opera-length gloves.
  • 1973 – The term “Sponsors” was initiated to emphasize the debutantes’ roles as ambassadors of the hospital.
  • 1987 – The first Friday of June was established as the night for the Bal du Bois. Subsequently the event is now held on the Friday evening after Memorial Day which sometimes lands on the last Friday in May, and the Sponsor’s age was raised to 21.
  • 2000 – Proceeds to the hospital were reaching $100,000 annually.
  • 2011 – The Junior Board donated $125,000 to help fund the new iWalk program.
  • 2014 – In recognition of the 125th anniversary of Sheltering Arms, a $150,000 donation from the Junior Board supported Scholarship and Career Advancement for Sheltering Arms staff.
  • 2015 – The Junior Board provided a record $180,000 to Sheltering Arms to purchase the Indego Exoskeleton. The hospital is among a select group of internationally respected rehabilitation providers chosen to conduct clinical trials of the Indego exoskeleton with patients who have sustained spinal cord injuries and with patients following stroke. To learn more, click here.
  • 2016 – 60th annual Bal du Bois. The Junior Board commits $1 million to the campaign for the new hospital, Sheltering Arms Institute, a Joint Venture with VCU Health.
  • 2018 – A record number 50 sponsors participated in the Bal.