Approaching its 25th anniversary, the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s annual gala fundraiser has never enjoyed such incredible successes as it did this past weekend.
The Denim & Diamond event on Saturday night attracted a record crowd and brought in $270,000, foundation chair Deanna Horn announced Monday afternoon.
“I felt it was a really, really successful gala,” she said. “I felt the whole event was very well done, it was comfortable, the ambiance was spectacular, and the food was wonderful.”
More than 320 guests donned their boots, black-tie suits, and best bling and came out to join in the “glamourous” evening. That was the largest crowd in the event’s history, which was a huge triumph for Horn.
But for the long-time Langley resident, it was the speeches by two local doctors, general surgeon Dr. Michael Goodwin and chief surgeon Dr. Mitra Maharaj – talking about their experiences within the walls of the local hospital – that resonated most with her.
“They came and shared their patient stories and some of the things they see going on… it gave a personal touch to what we’re trying to achieve, as the foundation,” Horn said.
The doctors demonstrated the direct impact sponsorships, ticket sales, auction purchases, and donations have on patient care, said the foundation’s executive director Vivian Smith.
“They were so passionate and spoke from the heart… To hear them speak and to hear them talk about the impact the partnership with the foundation makes to the hospital, to the patients, and to the staff, that was the highlight of the night for me,” Smith said.
Calling it a “remarkable” event, Horn elaborated: “The community’s caring and commitment to the foundation and the hospital was really heard loud and clear on Saturday.
“We could not have achieved this successful result without the generosity of our sponsors, donors, guests, vendors, and volunteers. Thank you for your support,” she added.
Asked what will be in the cards to top this year’s success, Horn puzzled over the question.
“I’m not sure I would change anything,” she said.
Maybe, Horn added after some deliberation, she would like to see more patient stories brought to the forefront as an example of what the contributions of the donors and the work of the foundation makes possible at Langley Memorial Hospital.
Horn has been on the board of the hospital foundation for four years, taking over as chair this past June.
She knows first hand the “great work” that is done by the doctors, nurses, and other staff at the hospital. There have been five generations of her family living in Langley – her grandparents settling in Glen Valley almost 90 years ago.
That means she’s lost family members at LMH, including her father. But Horn’s also been blessed with four grandchildren, all born within the hospital’s walls.
“We know how important the hospital is to our community,” she said. “I’ve never had anything but great care at Langley, and anything I can do to improve it or make it more comfortable is what I and others at the foundation are trying to do.”
Money from the annual gala helps the foundation support capital projects at the hospital, including the purchase of equipment and the support of patient comfort initiatives.
With next year being the silver anniversary for the foundation gala, some special plans are already in the works.
But whether it will – or whether it can – top this year’s successes is yet to be seen, Horn said.
Guests, sponsors, donors, and other general foundation supporters will just have to watch, wait, and find out what’s in store.