‘Derby Night’ enterains, raises funds for hospitalPublished 9:34am Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Memorial Hospital Foundation’s second annual “Derby Night,” which was held Friday night at the BSC Kirbo Center, was another big hit for its patrons and the Foundation.
“We’re happy with the support from the community and glad that everyone seemed to have a great time,” said Foundation chair Liv Warren.
After expenses are paid for the April 19 event, the Foundation will use the proceeds to cover the cost of furnishings for the new Amelia Medical Plaza, which opens Thursday at 505 Amelia Avenue behind the hospital. Contributions to the Foundation were made through Derby ticket purchases and through silent auction and live auction items.
Memorial Hospital CEO Billy Walker announced that John M. Simmons was selected as the recipient of this year’s “Bill J. Jones Legacy Award.” Simmons’ daughter, Ann Brannen, accepted the award in her father’s absence.
Simmons served on the Hospital Authority of the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County, Georgia, for 10 years — from April 1988 until his resignation in June 1998. He served as treasurer of the Hospital Authority from April 1988 to April 1993, and as chairman from April 1993 through June 1998.
Walker said that Simmons saw the need for a Hospital Foundation for charitable donations. He knew that Jones was on the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Foundation Board and he asked Jones to lead Memorial Hospital in establishing a Foundation.
Several months after the Foundation’s first meeting, Simmons and the Simmons family made the first donation to the Foundation to establish an endowment for future growth.
“We owe a great deal of gratitude to John Simmons and the Simmons family for their foresight in establishing this Foundation and for their generous support of our community hospital for the past twenty-four years,” Walker said. “John Simmons is truly a legacy and we appreciate everything he has done through the years to support our hospital.”
When accepting the award for Simmons, Brannen said that her father truly loved Memorial Hospital and always had its best interest in mind.
In addition to betting on video horse races with “funny money,” Derby Night patrons also enjoyed a ladies’ hat contest. Winners of the hat contest were Allyson Walker for “Best Derby Hat,” Barbara Cliffe-Miller for “Most Original Hat,” and Melanie Posey for “Most Sophisticated Hat.”
Jean Reynolds was the winner of a raffle for an iPad2, which was donated by Todd and Erica Martin and State Farm Insurance. A drawing was held at the end of the evening after everyone cashed in their chips or “funny money” for chances to win a 32-inch flat screen TV. Jane Conger was the winner of the TV.
Derby Night patrons enjoyed a buffet catered by Faye Martin and the staff of Elizabeth’s.
The Memorial Hospital Foundation sponsored a Gala for 20 years, which raised more than $900,000 for the Foundation to fund special equipment purchases for the hospital. The Derby Night committee is already making plans to make next year’s event bigger and better.