On November 5th, over 400 elegantly attired guests gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Long Beach to attend the 35th Anniversary St. Mary Medical Center Gala Auction and Dinner to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the 30th Anniversary of the C.A.R.E. Program at St. Mary. The annual event, started by Founding Chairwoman Sheila Hanley, raised funds for St. Mary Community Benefit Programs. This year’s event was spearheaded by Dinner Committee Chair, John Wagner.
Throughout the Silent Auction, lively bidders eagerly signed their names on a variety of items including offerings of restaurant packages, entertainment experiences, and a variety of travel destinations. Reception guests were treated to a fabulous ice sculptured martini bar sponsored by long time Auction supporter, Stephen Dodge, and a champagne bar sponsored by George and Joyce Murchison.
This year’s Auction sponsorships were once again stimulated by a challenge from the Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation matching all sponsorships of $2,500 or more. Event Gold sponsors included Ed and Linda Kaleff, Steve Dodge, and the St. Mary Medical Center Medical Staff. Silver sponsors were The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, COPE Health Solutions, Dr. William and Sheila Hanley, Long Beach Emergency Medical Group, Pacific Healthcare IPA, George and Joyce Murchison, and Mike and Arline Walter. Live auction activity was spearheaded by President and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Randy Gordon (there with Nancy Becker), and silent auction activity was kept lively by popular marketing executive, Allan Rahn (there with wife Linda).
During the gourmet dinner and dessert, program introductions were made by long-time Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Barry Heller (with wife, Jill Lerner). Foundation President Drew Gagner introduced the evening’s honorees, The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, and the St. Mary C.A.R.E. Program. A moving video presentation highlighted the heart-touching history of the Sisters on the 150th Anniversary of their founding. Hospital President and CEO, Joel Yuhas (there with Andrew Will), made a special introduction and welcome to Sister Celeste Trahan, representing the Sisters of Charity. During dinner, guests were treated to the humorous and musical entertainment of the “Hypnotwist”, and a post-event jazz presentation by the TomTom Duo.
Enthusiastic bidding on live auction items led to the following generous winners: Shell Grossman will be hosting friends for a private tour of Thums Oil Islands with lunch at the Maya, Bill Ross will once again be treating friends to a Cocktail Cruise of Newport Harbor on a 52” private yacht, Bert Thompson will be headed to South Carolina for a week on Kiawah Island, Marv and Kathy Lieblein will enjoy a fabulous week on the water’s edge in Kauai, Evan and Maddie King are headed south of the border for a week of luxury in Cancun, and Dr. Barry Allswang presented wife, Ellie, a beautiful diamond necklace from McCarty Jewelers.