Pleas from a sick young boy’s family, a dying patient’s story as told by Langley Memorial Hospital’s site medical director, and a number of big surprise donations helped motivate attendees to give more, and ultimately pushed up the amount raised at Saturday night’s Denim & Diamonds gala.
The 26th annual charity fundraiser for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation engaged a sold-out crowd of more than 350 people.
“We’re raising money tonight for our hospital and for much needed equipment to help our citizens stay healthy,” Vivian Smith, the foundation’s executive director, told the packed room.
In keeping with tradition, the event received some “generous donations” that will benefit the hospital and ultimately the community as a whole, said Deanna Horn, chair of the hospital foundation’s board of directors.
“Look at the success of it,” Horn said, looking around the decked out vintage Vegas-themed ballroom at Cascades Casino.
“It’s been a fabulous evening… obviously the community likes the event,” she added, noting it sold out weeks ahead.
But for her, calling it a success is about so much more than just people buying a ticket and filling a seat.
For her, it is about the generosity of the gala guests throughout the night – those who gave more at every turn, Horn said.
While event organizers were shooting to surpass last year’s haul of a little more than half a million dollars, they came up just shy – raising $494,000.
But Horn was still elated with the results, saying it’s indicative of how caring the people of Langley truly are.
“It really shows a lot about the community and how they want to step up to help our hospital,” she said.
The hospital has an annual wishlist with about $1 million worth of life-saving equipment of various sizes, shapes, and purposes.
Admittedly, this year’s gala made a significant dent in that wishlist, Horn said with pride.
“The success of what’s been done here to help equip this hospital with all the different and necessary pieces of equipment is nothing short of ‘outstanding’,” she said. “Thank you to all who have helped buy this equipment that is so vital to our community’s health care.”
It’s “just marvelous,” Horn added of the event and the communitiy’s generosity.
“It helps our hospital, and our hospital can provide better care for our people… It’s a win–win,” she said.
It’s all about bringing “better care when it’s needed most,” added the hospital’s executive director Jason Cook.
“Having the right people and the right skills is essential, but without the right tools, we can’t keep up with modern medical practices,” he said.
Achieving the feat of raising close to half a million dollars couldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the kindness of many people, groups, and companies in Langley, Smith interjected.
“On behalf of the staff, patients and families at Langley Memorial Hospital, thank you for joining our network of care and helping to advance health care treatments, provide much needed patient comforts and put each community member back on the road to health. We could not have done this without you.”
But Horn and Smith also expressed thanks to a team of what they called unsung heroes – those who helped pull together the foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Each Denim & Diamonds gala follows a specific theme, and this year’s decor took guests back in time to revel in the glitz and glamour of vintage Las Vegas.
Smith applauded the work of 2018 gala co-chairs Sherry Omelaniec and Marilyn Morgan, and thanked the team of staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to pull it all together.
“Thank you for turning this night into a magical event.”