Hospital fundraising gala needs a little help

Tickets are almost sold out for the annual gala to raise funds for equipment needed at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Tickets are almost sold out for the annual gala to raise funds for equipment needed at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Only 40 of the $100 a plate tickets to the gala remain of the 190 that were available, says Richard Nelson, co-chair of the Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust which hosts the fundraiser.

He expects the remaining 40 tickets may be sold this week, but there are still two ways people can help to support the event.

They are in need of donations for the silent and live auctions that will be held in conjunction with the formal/semi formal affair whose theme this year is Mid-Winter Night’s Dream. Nelson says receipts for tax purposes are available for all donations.

People can also purchase raffle tickets on a one-of-a-kind pendant valued at $9,500 designed and made by lakecity jeweller Geoff Bourdon and donated for the fundraiser by Woodland Jewellers.

Tickets are available at Woodland Jewellers for $20 each. The draw for the pendant will be made during the gala on Saturday, Nov. 26. If all 600 tickets sell, which the usually do, Nelson says the raffle alone will raise $12,000 for the hospital fundraiser.

“This is a very substantial gift,” Nelson says.

The hospital gala will be held at the Sacred Heart Church hall and include a gourmet dinner catered by Carmen’s Restaurant at the Ramada Inn.

Dance music will be provided this year by the local group The Perfect Match.

“They are quite a lively group who play a mix of music,” Nelson says. “We want people to get up and dance and enjoy themselves.”

Donations of silent and live auction items can be dropped off at Interior Properties Real Estate at 25-2 Fourth Ave. South.

Tickets for the gala are available at RE/MAX Williams Lake Realty at 85 Third Ave. South. Tickets for the pendant are available at Woodland Jewellers and from hospital trust members, Nelson says.

Last year, Nelson says the hospital gala raised almost $70,000 which completed fundraising to purchase a new digital ultrasound machine for the hospital emergency department at a cost of approximately $85,000.

He says the ultrasound machine is now on order.

He says the hospital’s doctors and staff will work with Interior Health to determine the hospital’s next greatest need for equipment.

Since being formed in 1999 The Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust has focused its efforts on raising funds for major, more expensive pieces of equipment for the hospital that aid in early diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, thereby reducing the need for people to travel to other cities for the care they require.

“It has been demonstrated that early diagnosis and treatment saves lives,” Nelson says.

“I don’t think we would have some of the surgeons and specialists we have here without a lot of the equipment we have been able to purchase for the hospital over the years.”

He says the foundation has had a variety of fundraising activities over the years but also receives ongoing donations from individuals and businesses who wish to help to make sure Cariboo Memorial Hospital is well equipped.

Past purchases include the hospital’s first and second mammography machines, a CT scanner, an echocardiogram machine and the digital ultrasound machine for the emergency department.