PITTSBURG — A private jet for eight, a safari adventure and a limited edition .22 rifle are some of the items up for grabs at the Mount Carmel Foundation’s 32nd annual gala in Memorial auditorium on Jan. 23.
The Mount Carmel Foundation is Via Christi’s fundraising entity.
The annual gala is the foundation’s biggest fundraising event, allowing them to fund and give grants to address hospital needs. This year's theme is "Outrageously Alice" after Alice in Wonderland. Black tie is optional, but it is a "dressy event." Tickets are $125 each and are still available until Jan. 18 for the gala. Admission covers, drinks, a “secret” menu prepared by a chef and a night of fun.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring together the community and the hospital,” said foundation Executive Director Johnna Norton. “It’s a fun, really fun evening, but every part goes back to the hospital to help our patients. And therefore, help the community.”
Over 50 items are available during a live and silent auction. Some can be viewed on the foundation’s Facebook page. Other items include an iPad, autographed basketball from the University of Kansas basketball team and Branson vacation.
Raffle tickets are also being sold for an “all inclusive” trip for two, beachside to a resort in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. The raffle is available to anyone and the winner does not need to be present to win. Tickets are capped at 500 and can be purchased for $50 each or $100 for three.
For gala or raffle tickets, contact the foundation at 620-235-3512 or click on the foundation’s tab on Via Christi Pittsburg’s website.
Last year, the gala raised $82,000 to help hospital needs. Norton said the idea is to always raise more.
Each year the gala also has a special “Fund a Need,” segment, which is an auctionstyle fundraiser to see how much money can be raised for a particular need. Fund a Need allowed the foundation to purchase to apnea monitors for children last year.
This year, the need is a 3D mammography machine.
The 3D mammogram is a $400,000 campaign the foundation has pursued since August 2015.
The campaign is currently at $205,000 and still has $75,000 left in matching funds pledged by an anonymous donor.
“Our hope is that maybe that evening we could get there,” Norton said.
The 3D machine would replace the hospital’s current 2D machine. It is more accurate and reliable.
Cocktails are served at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. The menu Norton wanted to keep a secret, but would say “it will be well worth it.”
Then she proceeded to tease about dessert.
“There are some fun options for dessert,” Norton said. “I can tell you that.”
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.