BY SHANNON DUFF
ATWOOD – The Elma Memorial Community Centre was a building transformed Saturday evening as guests stepped out of Atwood and into a Deep South display of Mardi Gras fundraising fun.
More than 250 people attended the third annual Listowel Memorial Hospital Foundation Spring Gala for a gourmet dinner, live music and entertainment, auctions and a dazzling display of beads, feathers, masks and more in the stunning and elaborate décor.
Funds raised from this year’s event will go towards a portable digital radiology machine and an electronic operating table for Listowel Memorial Hospital.
Foundation chairman Ron Coghlin said the event will generate about $300,000.
“We are so grateful for the way the community supports the hospital in North Perth,” Coghlin told The Banner. “[The gala] is very well supported.”
That support comes from a variety of sources, he said, including organizations, businesses and individuals, and will help significantly with hospital equipment and technology.
“We have a $1 million budget ahead of us,” said Coghlin. “We have big plans for equipment for the hospital. . . it’s amazing what we can accomplish when everyone pulls together. It’s fantastic.”
Gala master of ceremonies, Dr. Barb Matthews, was quick to credit the gala committee volunteers and foundation administration staffer Mich Matheson for their dedication and hard work in co-ordinating the event.
“This event is a year in the making,” Matthews said, lauding the group’s energy and creativity. “Where else in rural Ontario can you come to an event like this?”
Matthews has acted as MC for the past three years and said it’s her way of volunteering and giving back to the community. The local support, she said, is constant.
“The community is right beside us,” she said. “People donate every year. We’re so grateful and we don’t take it for granted.”