A Keg dinner for 20, at the home of the auction winner, sold for thousands more than it was valued at during the 31st annual Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation gala Saturday evening.
The package included a three-course dinner by the popular steakhouse, complete with servers and dishes. It was valued at $1,800 but went for more than $4,500, said hospital foundation executive director Laura Butler.
“There were two people on either side of the room bidding against each other and it just got so exciting,” Butler said, adding that everybody was cheering and clapping.
“People get caught up in the moment at live auctions, but also knowing that it is all going to a good cause. If this is how they choose to make their donation and support the hospital foundation, then that’s wonderful,” Butler said.
Brad Tones was the auctioneer, and, said Butler, thanks to his enthusiasm, $24,500 was raised through the live auction alone.
The theme for this years evening at Meadow Gardens Golf Club was Singin’ in the Rain.
Fraser River Pile and Dredge was the presenting sponsor for the 13th year.
Hammond Jewellers donated a white gold and diamond pendant earrings and ring valued at more than $4,200 for the raffle.
There was also a silent auction with everything from Canucks tickets, a vintage Coca Cola machine, to children’s bicycles and plenty of gift baskets.
The band of the evening was Almost Famous. who had the dance floor packed until midnight, when the event ended.
Catering company Frolic and Forage provided a midnight snack to people as they were leaving.
Butler’s favourite part of the evening was when the From the Heart video was played. Each year the video features a piece of equipment that is needed at the hospital and the patients who would benefit from it.
This year the video asked guests to donate to the cost of a ScopeGuide, a $35,000 piece of equipment that reduces a patient’s discomfort during a colonoscopy.
Several people made $1,000 donations on the spot, while others put their donations in envelopes to be counted next week.
However, the Rai family from H & I Roofing donated $10,000 immediately.
“I’m pretty sure we made our goal in collecting $35,000,” said Butler.
Although the whole evening is special, “it’s the From the Heart part where you can actually see people’s generosity coming right through. That still gives me goosebumps after all these years. It’s really quite a lovely part of the night,” Butler said.
Last year the gala raised more than $240,000. This year’s total still has to be tallied.
Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation has committed $1.3 million for their fundraising goal. Around $700,000 of that will go towards the purchase of equipment and the rest for projects at the hospital and different support and education opportunities both at the hospital and in the community.