Dressed to the nines, Cariboo community members gathered for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Foundation’s (CMHF) 2023 annual gala on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The theme was Vintage Christmas, and guests were greeted into the hall of Sacred Heart Catholic School with shimmering lights and glistening stars. The gala included dinner, drinks, live music and a live and silent auction, which raised over $170,000 for the hospital, said Tammy Tugnum from the CMHF board, although she noted she’s still tallying final numbers.
This year’s funds will purchase the equipment needed to perform cataract surgery in Williams Lake. Over the years, the gala has raised over $4 million for the hospital.
Auctioned items included gift cards, Christmas baskets, a two-night stay at Sunset Waterfront Resort in Kelowna, a helicopter ride for three and a painting by Tiffany Jorgensen. As well, the lucky raffle ticket winner of the custom-made blue sapphire and diamond ring by Woodland Jewellers, valued at $8,000, went to Tom Pierce.
The event came together with several businesses around town and was catered by CJ’s Southwestern Grill and Fox’s Den Bar and Grill. South Broadway Liquor provided a champagne bar and the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club provided a drink bar.
Returning for the 15th year, the Vancouver-based band March Hare played music throughout the night and said they were excited to be back for the gala.
“The community has been phenomenal. They’ve been so generous,” said CMHF board member Cindy Watt, noting everyone benefits because of the event.
Tugnum said the biggest takeaway for her from the gala was seeing everyone come together and believe in what the CMHF is doing.