An annual celebration to raise funds that help save lives, all while whisking attendees to Hollywood and the heart of New York City, will again take donors on an adventure as the Sampson Regional Medical Center Foundation gears up for its sixth annual Partners for Life Gala.
The gala will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center, with Las Vegas being the destination this time around. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed by a buffet dinner.
While there is a different theme to the gala each year, the goal is always the same — raising money that will help the hospital purchase equipment and implement services that will help it better serve the community.
“Each year, we have selected a different destination, often a ‘cruise’ location, on which to center our theme. After five years, the gala committee decided it was time to make some changes in the format to add some freshness and new exciting activities,” said Brenda Warren, executive director of the SRMC Foundation. “In response to some suggestions, we selected ‘A Night in Las Vegas’ as our theme. The night will be filled with glitz and glamour, exciting games and entertainment and loads of fun for adults of all ages. There will also be great music to enjoy throughout the evening for those who like to watch or dance the night away.”
As is customary, the glitz and glamour is for a good cause. This year is no different, as funds raised will go toward enhancing support services, some of which were actually implemented thanks to the foundation’s gala fundraising two years ago.
“The SRMC Foundation Board voted to designate funds from this year’s gala to The Center for Breast Health, located at the Outpatient Diagnostics Center,” said Amber Cava, director of marketing and community relations. “The hospital intends to use the funds to enhance support services and hopefully improve mammography technology.”
The gala funds for 2010 were used to help purchase a new digital mammography unit, which has been an improved asset for providing faster and clearer imaging. The hospital is hoping to build upon those improvements by way of further upgrades.
“The digital mammography unit has upgrade capabilities for tomosynthesis, and the hospital is currently exploring options to purchase the software upgrade that would bring this service to The Center for Breast Health,” said Cava.
Tomosynthesis is 3-D breast imaging that has been used in the past for research purposes but is now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for consumer use. A 3-D breast image allows radiologists to view the breast tissue in incremental slices, improving the detection of breast cancer which may be missed 20 to 30 percent of the time even with digital mammography, Cava noted.
The gala aims to bring that 3-D imaging technology to Sampson Regional’s campus, and Warren urged attendance to the event, which will be seeing a few changes this year.
One of those changes will include modifications to the dress code, which has traditionally been black tie. That has given way to a “dressy casual” for 2012’s affair. The men can leave the ties at home and opt for an open collar shirt and sports coat, said Warren, while the women can select anything from cocktail dresses to dressy pants or something similar.
To go along with the Las Vegas theme, there will be a variety of non-gambling game tables available. Each purchased ticket will include “funny money,” which can be used to exchange for raffle tickets or to purchase chips to play the games. Guests will also be able to purchase additional raffle tickets or chips throughout the evening to increase their chances of winning the raffle items, Warren said.
The raffle items will replace the gala’s silent auction, a feature at past events. Additionally, there will be a live auction with some “great items” up for bid, said Warren. That includes, among many others, a trip to Las Vegas.
Tickets are currently on sale through the SRMC Foundation office with a deadline of Oct. 22. Individual tickets are priced at $100 each, except for the row of tables closest to the dance floor. Corporate sponsorship tables are also available. Although invitations have been mailed to past attendees and previous donors, the public is invited to participate by calling the SRMC Foundation office at 910-596-4269 for invitations and ticket information.
Warren said friends are encouraged to get a group together for seating, either a table of 8 or 10 people, to ensure their preference of seating arrangements, which should be indicated on the response cards.
“Everyone is encouraged to support this year’s Partners for Life Gala by purchasing tickets donating raffle or auction items,” Warren said. “Attending the gala is a great way to enjoy an evening out while supporting a worthy cause, as a portion of each ticket purchase is tax deductible. We promise you an exciting and fun evening to support a great cause.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.