The 2nd annual Beach Ball, sponsored by Friends of Lake Panorama, will be Saturday, May 6, at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center. All proceeds will go to the charity’s current priority project — new sports courts at Boulder Beach.

The first Beach Ball in May 2016 raised nearly $24,000, which helped Friends reach its $80,000 goal for a new playground at Sunset Beach.

Now Friends of Lake Panorama has a goal of raising at least $50,000 for the sports courts. So far, $27,000 has been donated for this project. Once Friends raises $50,000, the LPA has committed $50,000. An anonymous donor has pledged another $25,000 for a dedicated basketball court. 

Another successful Beach Ball should make installation of new sports courts possible this year.

Organizers are in the process of contacting 2016 table sponsors, ticket holders and item donors to see if they are interested in helping again in 2017. So far, about 20 of the 30 tables available have been spoken for, but additional table sponsors are needed. 

Table sponsorships cost $100. Sponsors will be recognized in a printed program and with a table sign. Each table of eight will be individually decorated with a different theme. Sponsors can do their own decorating, or a volunteer decorator will be assigned.

Table sponsors are encouraged to recruit up to eight guests at $40 each for their table. Seats not filled by sponsors will be available for purchase by others interested in attending the event.

Friends of Lake Panorama is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so the $100 table sponsorships and $20 per ticket are tax-deductible contributions. The other half of each ticket purchase goes to the LPN. The value of items donated for the auctions and raffle also could be tax deductible.

The Beach Ball will begin at 5 p.m. with a social hour that features special drink prices, plus time to view the decorated tables, purchase raffle tickets, and place bids on silent auction items. Patrons also will have the chance to place silent bids on 30 tempting desserts, each at least eight servings, to share with their tablemates. There will be a buffet dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a live auction.

Another option for donors will be a board where various items needed for the sports courts will be posted, along with the price. Donors will pluck a card from the board and pay for the items that evening. These will include such things as nets, anchor posts, basketball hoops, benches, and the fence gate, or perhaps half of a bench or net.   

Donated items are needed for the raffle, auctions and dessert table. Anyone interested in sponsoring a table, purchasing tickets or donating an item for The Beach Ball can email Or call Susan Thompson at 515-240-6536.

The main sports court structure will be a concrete slab featuring two regulation-sized tennis courts with both tennis and pickle ball lines. These courts will be surrounded by a 10’ tall chain link, black vinyl fence. The basketball court will be slightly smaller than regulation size. The concrete will be marked for two half courts, with two basketball hoop systems installed.

While donations of all sizes are welcome, only donors of $500 or more are recognized on the Friends website. A sign listing these larger donors will be erected near the courts.

Donations can be made in someone’s memory or in honor of someone. Checks can be mailed to PO Box 488, Panora, Iowa, 50216. A donation form is available on the Friends website, which can be completed and sent with the check. Donations also can be accepted electronically on the website at

Donations of securities (stocks, mutual funds, etc.) are welcome, and will be sold once transferred, with the proceeds deposited into the Friends bank account. A securities account has been established with GCSB Investment Center in Panora.

The Friends nonprofit is separate from the Lake Panorama Association, and has a goal of improving recreational amenities at Lake Panorama. All contributions are tax deductible.