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Hundreds of thousands raised at hospital foundation’s Disco Ball Gala in Maple Ridge

Some attendees were dressed in sequin bell-bottoms and crop tops in the spirit of the night
An attendee bids during the live auction at the 34th annual Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Gala Saturday night. (Special to The News)

Hundreds of thousands of dollars was raised for expensive new medical equipment for Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Gala Saturday night, Oct. 15.

More than $219,000 was raised at the event themed Disco Ball Gala, including more than $40,000 during a “spirited” live auction of 14 packages, $16,000 from a silent auction featuring 145 different items, and a wide variety of raffles throughout the evening that raised more than $11,000 – including the raffle of a spectacular diamond ring donated by Hammond Jewellers – a tradition at the Gala.

Foundation chair Ron Antalek welcomed guests to the 34th annual event at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Maple Ridge.

“Although for the first time in years it did not sell out, we were delighted to welcome 236 guests to this spectacular evening,” Deanna Lackey, development officer with the hospital foundation, said about the first in-person event the foundation has been able to hold in three years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive director of the hospital foundation Laura Butler spoke at the gala about her delight at being back.

“After two years of COVID, it is wonderful to reach into the back of our closet for those ‘going out’ clothes and come together to celebrate with each other for our hospital,” Butler told the crowd – some dressed in sparkling bell-bottom pants, crop tops, jumpsuits, and short sequin dresses as per the theme of the night.

“We’re here tonight because we all have a special connection to our hospital. It may be where you were born, or your kids, or grandchildren. It may be a place you’ve frequented often, or perhaps been luck enough not to have been there. Or it may be where you’ve said your last goodbyes to someone important in your life.”

“We’ve been waiting a long time to throw this party – and we’re so glad you’re here,” concluded Butler.

Every year the gala features a From The Heart video highlighting a need at the hospital. This year the video featured the hospital’s emergency department and their need for a portable bedside ultrasound.

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation gets $10,000 donation

“The Emergency Room is in need of a new Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma Ultrasound, also known as FAST Ultrasound,” said Lackey. A FAST Ultrasound is a rapid bedside ultrasound examination that is performed by trained personnel and is an imperative and life-saving step in the assessment of patients in the Emergency Room, she explained.

“This piece of equipment will cost $72,400 and is just one of the over $850,000 of essential equipment and high priority needs for our hospital that we have committed to purchasing this year,” added Lackey.

RELATED: Jones family give Maple Ridge hospital the gift of cardiac care

Some of the other big-ticket items that the foundation has committed to purchasing for the hospital this year are: six Vital Sign Monitors for the medicine unit totalling $28,800; a Fluid Management System for the operating room at $36,200; a Sonosite Ultrasound for the operating room at $65,000; and a Bronchoscope for respiratory therapy at $43,000.

A new Telemetry Monitoring Station was recently opened at the hospital thanks to a donation of $200,000 from the Jones family of Maple Ridge.

Other recent donations include: $4,800 to McKenney Creek Hospice for the purchase of a Vital Signs Monitor made by the IODE Provincial Chapter of B.C.; and $4,000 from the Pacific Open Heart Association for a Cough Assist Ventilator for the ICU.

The foundation also funds various community health initiatives, health education endowment grants, impact grants, life long learning grants, McKenney Creek Hospice, and various other community needs.

Lackey thanked all the sponsors, singling out the Jourdain Family, this year’s presenting sponsor, who have been supporting the gala for more than 15 years.

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Attendees bid on silent auction items at the 34th annual Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Gala. (Special to The News)
Supporters were dressed up in their best disco outfits for the 34th annual Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation Gala. (Special to The News)

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
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