Gala kicks off hospital fundraising drive
by Sam Matthews
Jan 31, 2013 | 2708 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Sunil Patel is handed a Champions in Health Award during the Thursday, Jan. 24, Gala for Life, hosted by the Tracy Hospital Foundation. Tony and Gloria Souza and the Owens-Illinois glass plant were also honored for their long history of supporting the foundation.  Courtesy of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
Dr. Sunil Patel is handed a Champions in Health Award during the Thursday, Jan. 24, Gala for Life, hosted by the Tracy Hospital Foundation. Tony and Gloria Souza and the Owens-Illinois glass plant were also honored for their long history of supporting the foundation. Courtesy of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
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Members of the community chat during the social hour of the Thursday, Jan. 26, Gala for Life to benefit the Tracy Hospital Foundation.  Courtesy of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
Members of the community chat during the social hour of the Thursday, Jan. 26, Gala for Life to benefit the Tracy Hospital Foundation. Courtesy of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
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Applause fills the reception hall of St. Bernard's Holy Family Center on Thursday, Jan. 24, during the Gala for Life to benefit the Tracy Hospital Foundation. The gala honored community members who have supported the hospital.   Courtesy of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
Applause fills the reception hall of St. Bernard's Holy Family Center on Thursday, Jan. 24, during the Gala for Life to benefit the Tracy Hospital Foundation. The gala honored community members who have supported the hospital. Courtesy of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital
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A new fundraising initiative by the Tracy Hospital Foundation was launched Jan. 24 with a recognition gala attended by nearly 200 people.

Cindy Thoming Sanders, chairwoman of the foundation’s board of trustees, reported that the evening in the reception hall of St. Bernard’s Holy Family Center, called Gala for Life, generated “interest and enthusiasm” in the campaign to raise money for patient lifts that are planned for 36 rooms at the Tracy Boulevard hospital.

Sanders, who was mistress of ceremonies for the gala, said the foundation will use the dinner to launch the 2013 fundraising campaign with a goal of $100,000, which will be matched by Sutter Health Systems, operator of the local hospital.

“We plan to contact individuals, businesses and corporations in the coming months to gain their support,” she said. “Equipping the hospital rooms with the mechanical lifts that can ease patients in and out of bed is a major step in improving patient safety.”

Sanders, who was elected to lead the board of trustees of the Tracy Hospital Foundation in April 2012, has a family history with the hospital. Her grandfather Ed Thoming and her uncle Jim Thoming were both members of the board of directors of Tracy Community Memorial Hospital before it became part of Sutter Health Systems in 1993. She has been on the foundation board the past seven years.

In addition to helping finance the patient lifts, the foundation also provides annual funds to a number of local nonprofit, people-serving agencies, she reported.

For 18 years, the Festival of Trees was the principal fundraising effort of the foundation, but the economic downturn diminished the success of the holiday event.

“We knew it was time to go in a new direction, and the Jan. 24 gala was the start,” Sanders said. “It focuses on honoring those who have supported the hospital, foundation and community.”

Champions of Health Awards were presented to Tony and Gloria Souza, Dr. Sunil Patel and Owens-Illinois Inc. during the dinner — all are longtime supporters of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital and its affiliated foundation.

• Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or shm@tracypress.com.

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