3.09.2017

You probably haven't noticed these 'pink houses' at Ocean Lakes


When you think of October at Ocean Lakes, you probably envision the creepy sites, the crazy costumes and other Halloween fun.

But there’s another special group that quietly makes Ocean Lakes a regular stop every October.

Ocean Lakes partners with Little Pink Houses of Hope, which provides free beach vacations to breast cancer patients and their families. The goal is to promote recovery by offering opportunities to connect and celebrate life in a beach setting.

About eight to 11 breast cancer patients and their families come to Ocean Lakes through the Burlington, N.C.-based non-profit every October, which coincidentally happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Little Pink Houses, which has about a dozen beach retreats in the United States every year, arranges the details of the vacations so the families can simply show up and start having fun.

“All they have to do is just get themselves here,” said Cristi Seay, the Myrtle Beach Retreat Coordinator.

Then it’s our turn to help. Ocean Lakes offers our facilities, golf cars, food for some of the events, goodie bags and recreation activities to the families to streamline their stay and help them focus on having fun and creating family memories. Individual homeowners in Ocean Lakes donate their houses for the families to stay for the week.

“We’re happy to be a part of it,” said Lance Thompson, Ocean Lakes’ general manager and vice president.
Cristi Seay (center), Myrtle Beach Retreat Coordinator with Little Pink Houses of Hope, presents a plaque to Ocean Lakes Family Campground managers. Pictured (left to right): General Manager/Vice President Lance Thompson, Recreation Director Craig Culbreth, Seay, Marketing Director Barb Krumm and Operations Manager Kevin McWhirter.
Seay recently stopped by Ocean Lakes with a special thank-you for Thompson and the Ocean Lakes team, presenting key managers with a plaque featuring a photo of the Little Pink Houses of Hope families who stayed at Ocean Lakes in 2016 as well as a hand-written letter from the charity’s founder, Jeanine Patten-Coble.

“From the very first year, you have wrapped your arms around our volunteers and breast cancer families and have never let go,” Patten-Coble wrote in the letter. “We are so lucky to not only have a partnership, but a true feeling of family in our relationship!”

Cristi Seay (right), Myrtle Beach Retreat Coordinator for Little Pink Houses of Hope, thanks Ocean Lakes managers for helping provide free vacations for breast cancer patients and their families. Pictured, from left to right: Operations Manager Kevin McWhirter, Marketing Director Barb Krumm and General Manager/Vice President Lance Thompson

Ocean Lakes has partnered with Little Pink Houses of Hope on the retreats since they started in Myrtle Beach in 2011, welcoming about 400 family members over those years, Seay said. The retreats have all the aspects of what makes a great beach vacation, including eating at area restaurants, family photo shoots on the beach, games such as cornhole and, of course, some good ole’ rest and relaxation.

During their weeklong stay at Ocean Lakes, kids enjoy special activities in our Recreation Center one evening while Mom and Dad get to have “date night.”

Aren’t these cute? We were honored to again host about a dozen breast cancer patients during Breast Cancer Awareness...
Posted by Ocean Lakes Family Campground on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Little Pink Houses of Hope has 14 beach retreats scheduled for 2017. The Myrtle Beach retreat is set for Oct. 15-21 at Ocean Lakes; it's the only one in South Carolina. Other 2017 retreat locations: Emerald Isle, N.C.; Key West, Fla.; Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Gulf Shores, Ala., among others. About 1,000 breast cancer patients have applied to participate in one of the retreats, Seay said.

“Thanks for jumping in with your families to directly serve and become a part of the retreat week,” Patten-Coble said in the letter to Ocean Lakes. “We are truly blessed to be able to create hope together with Ocean Lakes!”

Cristi Seay (right), Myrtle Beach Retreat Coordinator for Little Pink Houses of Hope, presents a plaque featuring a photo of the 2016 breast cancer patients who stayed at Ocean Lakes for their beach retreat. Accepting the plaque for Ocean Lakes (from left to right): Recreation Director Craig Culbreth, Operations Manager Kevin McWhirter, Marketing Director Barb Krumm and General Manager/Vice President Lance Thompson.


Want to help?


Donate or volunteer

Little Pink Houses of Hope relies on donations from the community and volunteers to help with everything from planning activities to collecting donations. Interested? Contact Myrtle Beach Retreat Coordinator Cristi Seay at 864-444-8790 or cristi@littlepink.org.

Run/walk to earn a medal and raise money
Hit the pavement for the first EmpowerMe Pink virtual 1 mile or 5K run/walk and designate $10 of the $30 entry fee to go directly to support the Myrtle Beach retreat. Complete the virtual run/walk between April 15 and May 15. Register here.