Heart of Gold Gala Returns, Raises Over $1.6 Million for KGH
KELOWNA, BC, Sept 11, 2022 – The Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation’s iconic Heart of Gold gala returned last night, and by all accounts, it was a stunner. By the end of the evening $1,600,001 had been raised to help establish a Centre of Excellence in Brain Health at KGH.
“It is an area of health care that is vitally important,” says Allison Ramchuk, CEO of the KGH Foundation. “Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s and dementia are devastating to those who are suffering, and their families. KGH is now home to some very bright and ambitious neurologists. We have an opportunity to establish KGH as a hub for world-class research, innovation and most critically, delivery of care close to home for those in our region who are living with, or will develop, these diseases.”
It has been four years since the last Heart of Gold gala, which took place in a parking lot that would become the location of JoeAnna’s House. Over $1.2 million was raised that evening. JoeAnna’s House will celebrate its three-year anniversary in November.
This time, the Heart of Gold committee secured a location that could easily rival some of the greatest event venues in the world. Guests were treated to a very special ‘sneak peek’ of the new O’Rourke Family Estate Winery in Lake Country.
“It was perfect,” says Lynn Archibald, the Creative Director for the event for the past 14 years. “The theme this year was ‘Pushing Boundaries’, and that is exactly what we are all doing.”
Indeed, the need to do things differently was a sentiment that echoed throughout the course of the evening.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Devin Harris, Executive Medical Director, Quality, Patient Safety and Research for Interior Health and also an Emergency physician at KGH reflected, “We have learned many things over the past two years. It’s time to support the overall sustainability of our health system, including the extraordinary people working in it, if we hope to move past the challenges we are facing.”
Drawing from his own personal story, the gala’s title sponsor, Tom Budd, of the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, shared, “In the past, giving has been my lifeline. Even as I face so much uncertainty in my own life, I hold on to faith that if we just give more than we take, we have a life worth living.”
“We are grateful for every single person in the room last night, and especially to those who gave so generously. It’s time for a bold commitment to pushing boundaries, to doing things differently, and we can’t do it without the support of our community,” says Ramchuk.
With deep and sincere gratitude to; Tom Budd and the Thomas Allan Budd Foundation; the Heart of Gold committee, including Chair Marilyn Scott and Creative Director Lynn Archibald; our Honourary Chairs, Dr. Chris Fibiger and Dr. Gail Plecash; hosts, Dennis and Elizabeth O’Rourke and their outstanding staff; our catering partners from Waterfront Restaurant; our incredible Chefs – Andrea Callan (O’Rourkes), Mark Filatow (Waterfront Restaurant), Brian Skinner (Frankie We Salute You) and Julian Helman (KARAT Chocolate + Pastry Boutique), Stevie Rush and Ian Phillmore (Central); our dedicated volunteers including the team from RBC and RBC Dominion Securities; and so many others for their part in helping create an event that was simply stunning.
Since 1978, the KGH Foundation has worked with a generous community to raise funds to support world-class health care close to home for a rapidly expanding and diverse population in the interior of B.C. Today, the KGH Foundation is the lead fundraising organization for Kelowna General Hospital and its associated facilities, JoeAnna’s House, and Central Okanagan Hospice House.