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One Night Gala

"Hottest Ticket in Town"

Story and Photos by Rebekah Yearout

Regional One Health Foundation’s ONE Night Gala was held at the Cook Convention Center to benefit the only trauma center in the region. Approximately 920 people attended the event, which is billed as “the hottest ticket in town,” said Mary Catherine Burke, manager of events and public engagement for Regional One Health Foundation. This year was the second year the foundation held a pledge event during the gala, and the pledges alone that evening raised $141,000—that’s not including ticket costs and sponsorships.  Funds raised will go toward enhancing the technology in the hospital’s operating rooms, Burke said.

The hospital performs more than 8,700 surgeries a year. The new technology will allow doctors to communicate directly with family members, use voice activation to adjust the intensity of the light and vividly display all X-rays and information used to make a proper diagnosis. Regional One’s academic physician group, UT Regional One Physicians, is the largest teaching physician group in the Mid-South.

The event kicked off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour in the Ballroom Foyer, and for approximately an hour, guests enjoyed drinks while watching the sunset over the Mississippi River. The emcee for the cocktail hour was Michael Detroit, associate producer/development at Playhouse on the Square. Professional photographers were set up to take photos, and attendees had the chance to play on two oversize tables set up like the game of Operation to, quite literally, get a feel for what it’s like to be a doctor or staff member in the operating room.

During the banquet, a formal program was held during which patients related to guests their stories of survival, thanks to Regional One Health. Several physicians also informed the crowd about how the new technology would help enhance their operating rooms.

The Reverend Preston Jefferson of the Regional One Health Foundation Board led the crowd in blessing the food, which included a deconstructed Caesar salad, chicken bistro and a dessert of chocolate mousse served with grilled pineapple and berries. After dinner, the entertainment began. A late night snack was provided by Cigna.  Burke said the music kept the crowd dancing until about 11:30 p.m.

“Everybody really enjoyed it, we had two bands, Cameo and The Isley Brothers, and people were on the dance floor all night,” she said.

Presenting sponsors for the event were FedEx, SunTrust, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, OR Nurses Nationwide, Radians, Orion and the Arney Scheidt Family Foundation. The entertainment was provided by Southeastern Asset Management (advisor to Longleaf Partner Funds). The cocktail sponsor was Mid-South Transplant Foundation Inc., and pledge sponsor was Valero Energy Foundation. In addition, there were 10 platinum sponsors and multiple gold sponsors.

 


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