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Gala raises $332,000 for hospital

Langley-born actress Amanda Crew, emcee at the May 7 Langley Memorial  Hospital Foundation, chats with auctioneer Tyler Olson during the event.  - Photo courtesy of Dennis Davidson/Keepsake Portrait
Langley-born actress Amanda Crew, emcee at the May 7 Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, chats with auctioneer Tyler Olson during the event.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Dennis Davidson/Keepsake Portrait

Organizers of this year’s Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation gala are flying high after an extraordinary affair on May 7.

Held for the first time at the Langley Museum of Flight, the gala raised $332,000, far surpassing the goal of $150,000.

Foundation executive director Tania Vrionis called the evening “amazing.”

“Hosting the event at a non-traditional venue allowed us to create an entirely unique and different type of event, and to truly give our supporters a night to remember,” Vrionis said.

“The positive feedback we’ve received confirms that we achieved our goal in creating an atmosphere like no other. The team at the Canadian Museum of Flight were such a treat to work with, and we thank them for trusting us with their beautiful facility,” she added.

There were a number of highlights, not least of which was a new element to the fundraising evening: A ‘Philanthropic Frenzy’ in which guests were given an opportunity to make donations to the foundation, auction-style, raising more than $240,000.

An anonymous bidder made a substantial gift of $200,000, Vrionis said.

A highlight of the live auction was the bidding war over a special dining experience for eight at the Murrayville firehall, complete with transportation to and from the hall on a fire truck, compliments of the Township’s professional firefighters’ union. During the bidding war, the firefighters generously donated a second dinner experience, and both bidders paid $10,000 each for the experience.

Amanda Crew, a well-known actress originally from Langley and currently living in Los Angeles, was the emcee for the evening.

The location was a departure for the annual gala, which is usually held in a more formal setting. However, the museum was transformed so that a fresh, new environment would still reflect the elegance of the soiree, one of the social highlights of Langley.

In the weeks leading to the event, Vrionis commented that the organizing committee was “looking for something unique, something completely different. We wanted to flip it totally inside out.”

It worked. The event sold out weeks in advance, with all 260 tickets sold.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support the surgical department at LMH through the purchase of a complete endoscopy system, and to replace scopes.

“The generosity of this amazing community reached an entirely different level at our gala, as evidenced by the fact that we exceeded last year’s event total by more than 50 per cent,” Vrionis said.

“Each year, we are blessed to see our current donors and new supporters alike taking a stand to ensure that we are able to deliver the absolute best in healthcare right here in this community. Words simply can’t express how grateful we are for the continued support of this remarkable community.”

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