An envelope was left on a table with a pledge for $50,000.
Add that to another unexpected donation of almost $75,000, and it’s fair to say organizers of the Denim & Diamonds Gala are elated with the success of this past weekend’s 25th annual Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation event.
The fundraiser generated in excess of half a million dollars.
“Isn’t that awesome,” said Deanna Horn, chair of the foundation. “It’s just staggering… I marvel that you can do that in one evening in a community the size of Langley.”
A sold-out crowd of 344 people attended the hospital foundation’s single largest fundraising event of the year at Cascades Casino on Saturday, and through ticket sales, live and silent auctions, pledges, and several other ways to donate, the gala almost doubled any amount ever raised in the event’s quarter century history.
“Everyone comes out of this a winner. It’s outstanding,” Horn added, spotlighting how it was many of the expected and unexpected donations combined that helped generate “a whopping” $506,400 for the hospital.
One donation came from Ken and Diane Mitchell, owners of the Surrey-based development company of Mitchell Group. They purchased a table at the evening soiree, then donated a further $75,000 (roughly) by purchasing one piece of every surgical equipment that was on display and for sale in what the foundation called its Eyes into the OR (operating room).
In the corner of the banquet hall, the hospital again presented a see, touch, and buy centre, where guests could discover what kind of equipment is currently in demand for the local hospital’s operating rooms.
Members of the surgical team were on hand to discuss and demonstrate various pieces of the equipment, and everyone purchasing a needed surgical tool walking away with a mock stethoscope and a gift receipt.
While that was one of the unexpected donations, another came from Vesta Properties, in the form of a $50,000 pledge form left on the table.
Attention was also drawn to a $50,000 donation from the Crystal Gala Foundation for a breast cancer detection system.
And, foundation executive director Vivian Smith also spotlighted a $22,500 donation made by Drive for the Cure Foundation to purchase a colonoscope for the ambulatory surgical program, $20,000 from the RBC Foundation to purchase an osmometer, and a $3,000 donation for TD Bank to a staff education grant.
There were a number of other impromptu donations made throughout the night, and Smith reiterated a few times throughout the evening how appreciative she was for everyone’s commitment to transforming health care in “our community.”
Horn echoed the sentiment, crediting Smith, foundation staff, directors, and countless volunteers for working so tirelessly through this past year to building on relationships with long-standing contributors and to cultivate new relationships.
Horn saw the fruit of those efforts Saturday, pointing to a sell-out crowd and the amount donated. She believes people in Langley are really starting to see and understand the needs of the hospital and how that benefits them and their loved ones.
“People in Langley want good health care, and they’re willing to step up and help make that happen,” she said.
“By bringing together residents and businesses to support local health care services, we are building partnerships and a stronger community,” she said.
Meanwhile, hospital executive director Jason Cook was also impressed, calling it a “fabulous night.”
This was the third time he’s attended the gala, and said it was “probably the most successful” and definitely one of the most fun.
He was floored by the generosity of the crowd – of business owners and families – committed to health care in Langley.
“It’s a great success, and at the end of the day, it’s about great care for our patients,” he told the Langley Advance.