Riverside dinner tops $30,000

Heather Latter

The event called the community to “come together” to support local health care—and that’s exactly what they did.
A sold-out crowd attended the Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s 16th-annual dinner Saturday night at La Place Rendez-Vous and raised $30,164.97, which will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art infant warmer for the obstetrical unit at La Verendrye Hospital here.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the dinner focused on the legacy of the “Fab Four,” complete with groovy decorations, trivia, the group’s top tunes, and plenty of fun activities all evening.
“I think the event went amazing,” enthused Foundation director Samantha Manty.
“We had so much support from the community,” she added. “Everyone came out, and it looked like everybody really had a great time and really enjoyed themselves.”
Manty noted with a $25,000 goal set by the committee, they definitely exceeded what they set out to do.
“The [infant] warmer is around $34,000 so we will be able to purchase it,” she remarked.
Dr. Melanie Halvorsen, who attended the dinner, explained the need for the item.
“When babies are born, sometimes they have difficulty breathing or they are born too young and they need all sorts of help,” she noted.
“So in this unit there is oxygen attached so we can adjust the level of oxygen we give them.
“There’s what is called a Neopuff so that we can help them to breathe,” Dr. Halvorsen added, citing the infants can be weighed right on the unit so they know the proper doses of medicine to give them.
“And there is a warmer because they need to be kept at body temperature,” she explained. “So it is a really complicated unit and we really only have one other that works this way. . . .
“It’s really compact and quite functional,” she said.
Meanwhile, Manty said those on hand were quite eager to participate in the various activities.
“This year was exciting because we did a couple of new activities,” she noted.
“One that was extremely popular was we did a heads-or-tails competition.
“People really seemed to enjoy that,” she enthused. “It was an active game where people were able to get up and take home a little bit of money.
“It was really fun,” she added, noting people bought a
button in order to play.
“Everyone who had a button [were asked] to stand up and then we were flipping a coin,” Manty explained, noting, for instance, if people thought it would be heads, they had to put their hands on their head.
“Then whoever didn’t have the right answer was eliminated,” she said.
“It went through about five rounds until there were just a few people left and we invited them up to the stage.”
She noted the eventual winner went home with $605 while the Foundation kept the other half.
Another new activity were the “Beatles bags.”
“They purchased a bag without knowing what was inside for the chance to win one of two $100 gift certificates or 14 smaller prizes,” said Manty, noting everyone opened the bags at the same time later on in the evening.
There also was a Beatles’ trivia game, a photo booth complete with groovy props, and a trip draw for two to Las Vegas to enjoy “The Beatles—Love” presented by Cirque du Soleil, which was won by Mayor Roy Avis.
“The live and silent auctions went really well—I think we raised a record amount of money in both,” Manty said.
“And we did very well with our penny table again this year, as well.
Live music was provided by Wayne MacIntyre and Mike McCaig while Bill Gushulak was emcee for the evening.
The menu featured a salad called “Let it Brie,” an entrée deemed “Happiness is a Warm Wellington,” and dessert entitled “Strawberry Shortcake Forever.”
There even was a special cocktail for the night called “Lovely Rita” that saw one dollar from each drink sold donated to the Foundation.
“And there were a few people who dressed up and really got into it, so that was great,” Manty remarked.
“A few other people around the room took a little bit of retro inspiration so that was really nice to see.”
Manty said she enjoyed working with the Special Events committee to organize this event.
“They are just amazing,” she stressed. “They really are the ones who make the event possible.
“They are so hard-working and dedicated,” Manty added. “And it was so neat to see everybody’s ideas come to life and see all the hard work that everyone did pay off.”
Manty also emphasized the committee’s gratitude to the community.
“I can’t express enough how grateful we are for all the support,” she said, noting they had a record number of “platinum” and “gold” sponsors this year.
“We appreciate all of our donors—anyone who donated prizes or items for the live and silent auction,” Manty reiterated.
“That’s what makes our event so big and so popular.
“So it’s really nice that the community continues to support the Foundation and all of the things that we do,” she added.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”