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Riverside dinner raises more money than inaugural one

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Amid positive feedback about the food, entertainment, and silent auction, the biggest buzz surrounding Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s second-annual fundraiser dinner here Friday night was the more than $25,000 it raised.

“I think it far exceeded our expectations,” enthused Foundation director Wendy Frattolin. “We raised more than last year [which] shows the continuing support of the public for the health care services in their community.”

Last year’s inaugural dinner raised about $24,000.

“I thought it was a total success,” echoed Wayne Woods, the new CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. here. “It seemed everyone was having fun.”

Woods also said he was very appreciative of what the Foundation was doing for local health care.

“With the amount of hard work that went into organizing this, I don’t think anyone can imagine doing it all themselves,” he noted.

Special event co-ordinator Joan Allison noted that, as a volunteer, the success of the evening was a reward in itself. “It’s so much work but when it comes together, it’s a wonderful feeling,” she noted.

The silent auction item that fetched the biggest bid was a 1928 piano donated by “Mary’s Little Lambs,” which Brenda Hyatt took home for $500.

A Ducks Unlimited carving, donated by Larry Cousineau, brought in $350, paid by Dr. Loreena Jenks.

Meanwhile, a three-day, four-night fly-in trip to Crane Lake, donated by Campbell’s Cabins at Lac La Croix and won by Gary Rogozinski, raised more than $1,300 as a raffle prize.

Voyageur Panel also opened its wallet for the cause, donating $5,000 to the Foundation. “They’ve been generous throughout the district,” noted Allison.

People seemed particularly amused by the “bed pan” centrepieces on each table at the Red Dog Inn, which also were up for bid, fetching an average of $25.

After supper and speeches by Foundation vice-chair Jim Krag, Woods, Allison, and Frattolin, the evening wrapped up with a dance featuring music by local band “Milestone.”

The $25,000 raised will go towards increasing long-term capabilities at the Emo hospital, as well as phase four renovations at La Verendrye hospital here, including new diagnostic imaging equipment and upgrading of the surgical suites and emergency area.

Since its launch in September, 1997, the Foundation has raised about $900,000 for district health care (that includes $350,000 already raised by the La Verendrye Hospital Auxiliary and the $250,000 raised for the new Rainy River hospital that’s slated to open next month).

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