Gala raises $30,377 at new venue

Published 7:58 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

The 20th annual Memorial Hospital Gala raised $30,377 toward the purchase of hospital equipment Thursday evening, which was actually better than anticipated considering the economy, Hospital CEO Jim Peak said Thursday evening.

The gala, which is a black-tie event, switched its location to the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center at Bainbridge College as well, which was greeted with positive comments about its spaciousness and acoustics.

“Here we are at a new venue and it makes this event more spectacular then ever,” said Glennie Bench, who served as the evening’s emcee and also serves on the Memorial Hospital and Manor’s board of directors.

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As is normal for the annual event, a physician from the hospital offers a toast. This year, it was Dr. Paul Bennett, who devoted his toast to the “family” of the hospital.

Bainbridge Mayor Mark Harrell served as the community’s representative, who thanked the hospital and its employees for all they do. He then led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to local dentist Dr. Jay Leverett Jr., and The former Post-Searchlight publisher Sam Griffin Jr.

Former Bainbridge City Manager Charles Tyson was again the auctioneer, although this year he was limited to five items to offer for bidding.

Dr. Aric Aldridge gave $1,050 for a Remington 1100 G3 12-gauge shotgun donated by the medical staff and Southern Trading Company. Oline Reynolds purchased jewelry originally designed by Ken Markham for $1,500. Sam Miles had the highest bid of $1,500 for a week’s stay at a mountain retreat, donated by Ken and Vicki Bailey. Dr. Jack Leverett purchased a half-day quail hunt at SouthWind Plantation for $1,400. And finally, Dick Ivey was the highest bidder at $1,000 for a catered dinner donated by Faye Martin and Elizabeth’s.

The money raised from Thursday’s gala will go toward the purchase of a laser/E-stim combo unit for outpatient physical therapy, an EKG machine for the surgery and intensive care units and two incubators for obstetrics. Over the past 20 years, a wide array of medical equipment has been purchased through the funds raised at the gala. The gala has also benefited nursing scholarships and other non-medical equipment the hospital uses.