Barbecue benefit raises $15K for Hospital Foundation
by Lucas Vance Staff Writer
RIDGEWAY — The Fairfield Memorial Hospital Foundation held its second annual Barbecue, Bluegrass & Blue Jeans Benefit this past Saturday night at The Farm at Ridgeway, raising $15,000 — including $6,000 through the silent and live auctions.
Proceeds from ticket prices and auctioned items were donated to the needs of the emergency department at Fairfield Memorial Hospital.
“The biggest thank you goes to each person here tonight because they are the real supporters of the hospital and have made the Foundation what it is today,” FMH Foundation’s president Mike Quinn said.
Mack Hughes was the auctioneer and local celebrity and WIS anchor Dawndy Mercer Plank presented the items. FMH Foundation executive director Dawn Catalano said it was fun attendees to meet Dawndy and chat with her and see her up close as opposed to on television.
“She is just so friendly and gracious. We loved having her,” Catalano said.
Some live auction items included a Steve Spurrier autographed football ($200), a Dabo Swinney autographed football ($125), a Ray Tanner signed baseball ($75), the weekend use of a BMW ($200) and a miniature horse ($200).
“People were so generous to support the cause and we are very grateful for all of their donations and bids,” Catalano said. “We were very pleased with the turnout and how generous people were.”
The band Total Denial performed live music throughout the evening and the barbecue team “Can’t Quit Smokin BBQ” provided the food. George King and Gary Freeman make up the team that are the 2011 and 2012 barbecue champions of South Carolina.
Catalano was especially appreciative of the in-kind facility donation by Larry and Eileen Sharpe. They own The Farm at Ridgeway and provided the FMH Foundation with the space to have their fund-raising event.
“I can’t say enough about them,” Catalano remarked. “It was such a delight to have the event there and we certainly hope to keep it there for next year.”
Although the FMH Foundation began back in 2010, Quinn believes it has made many contributions since its inception.
“We’re really still wearing baby shoes with this whole foundation, but we’ve come a long way in short time,” he noted.
Contributions have included two vital sign machines, a new treadmill for cardiac rehab, a popcorn machine for hospital events, a new refrigerator for emergency room, new otoscopes and recently helped buy the new Cerner system.
“All this stuff helps fill needs at the hospital,” Quinn stated. “Hopefully none of us will ever need the emergency room, but if we do, we want it to be the best that it can be.”
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