A NIGHT OUT Grape Escape supports Lakes Regional Foundation
Building off the success of last year's inaugural event, the Lakes Regional Healthcare Grape Escape returns Saturday, Sept. 7 to the Pearson Lakes Art Center. Nearly $25,000 dollars were raised during the dinner and auctions last year -- with all funds being used by the Lakes Regional Foundation.
"We had a successful event last year and we were able to provide funding for the new birthing center," said LRH CEO Jason Harrington. "It's the Lakes Regional Foundation's one fundraising event during the year."
Harrington said the funds from the 2013 event will be used for the continued construction of the hospital -- primarily in support of the new surgery center set to be completed next year.
The silent auction includes 20 items -- such as golf lessons, rounds of golf, a Harley Davidson mirror and various gift baskets up for bid -- and begins at 6 p.m. A wine tasting will take place during the silent auction from 6 to 7 as well. The dinner will be served at 7:30, prepared by Chef Duane Zahradnik -- various dishes including roasted beef tenderloin, linguine pasta in a garlic cream sauce and shrimp marinated in citrus and cognac.
A live auction will immediately follow the dinner. Various items including Iowa Hawkeyes football tickets, a gourmet dinner for 8, and a trip to LA will be up for bid.
The inaugural event in 2012 saw 80 people attend due to limited tickets, but Harrington said they hope to increase that total to around 130 this year.
The Lakes Regional Foundation was created two years ago in hopes to support various projects throughout the hospital.
"It is still in it's infancy stages and we have a really strong and supportive board," Harrington said. "Within the last year they've set some fundraising goals and in which they've met. They were modest goals but they met them. I think we have lots of opportunities out there."
The Lakes Regional Foundation is essentially the "charitable arm of LRH" Harrington said. They raise funds to support new technology and improve the hospital.
"They have the intent of really enhancing and not replacing what we already have at Lakes Regional Healthcare," he added. "Their goal is really to raise funds, push health in the community, push the availability of state-of-the-art technology and to look at other opportunities for Lakes Regional Healthcare and the community. It's really the enhancement of healthcare in the community as opposed to maintenance of healthcare."
The Lakes Regional Foundation board is composed of nine members. Harrington said they still run into residents that don't know about the organization.
"I still run into a lot of people that don't realize that we have a foundation, they don't realize why we have a foundation and how those dollars are used," he said. "I think we are getting a lot more exposure and a lot more are understanding it but there are still a lot of people who don't and we want to continue to get that message -- of why it's important -- out."
While the main initiative on Saturday evening is to raise money for a good cause, Harrington said the Grape Escape is also a chance to have some late summer fun. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at the LRH Patient Registration desk. They can also be bought by calling 712-336-8799.
"It's a really fun event, its kind of the last event of the summer. We will see a mix of people," Harrington said. "It's kind of nice to have it at the time it is. I look forward to seeing those people."
Harrington said many of the auction items were donated from businesses and residents throughout the community.
"I also look forward to thanking the community for the support," he said. "Due to the charity of the community, we feel very fortunate."