In its 10th year, the annual Milton District Hospital Foundation’s Gift of Health Gala was a sight to behold at the Burlington Convention Centre on May 5, 2018. The gift of sponsorship was evident in a room lavish in hues of black and gold. The centerpieces featured an elaborate display of hanging crystals topped in a foliage of feathers. The 360-degree appetizer table was abundant during cocktail hour and the dessert table was a sparkling cornucopia of gold desserts roped off until the four-course meal was complete. Classic jazz by The Night Porters after Dark drifted through the room from the main stage. Guests had donned their finest attire for this evening in support of the Milton District Hospital.
Before dinner, attendees mingled with both new and old friends, and extended their generosity through good-natured fundraiser games. The Gift Card Game asked players to buy a $50 mystery gift card, with the chance of winning one of much higher value. For the Love of Wine game encouraged a $40 donation for a wine cork with a corresponding bottle of wine. Volunteer Krista Barton says that Guests also had the opportunity to purchase one of 100 keys which would unlock a vault, and a necklace from The Vault.
Other invitees perused the silent auction – which offered a seamless bidding experience through tablets with an online database listing all of the goods on display. As bids were made, they were transposed to a screen in the main dining room. Auction items included donated gift baskets, high end alcohol, furniture, home décor, jewellery, accessories, and theatre and sporting event tickets. Real Estate agent Zina Gewarges was keeping her eye open for objects which would lend themselves to home staging. Sara Bergsma was drawn to the live auction and she and her husband were hoping to win private golf lessons, or a party for 30 guests.
Most are return attendees to the Gift of Health Gala, but the growth of the hospital and the event itself meant that many are first timers. Jim and Carrie Gable were encouraged to attend by a Milton District Hospital Foundation volunteer. Jim noted, “It looks like a lovely night for a great cause!” Speech Pathologist Juliana D’Innocenzo was also attending for the first time after sponsoring an Inpatient Unit at the Hospital.
With the official opening of the expanded Hospital in the autumn of 2017, many Miltonians are breathing a sigh of relief. But while this year’s Gala is a celebration of all that the community and the Foundation have accomplished, Chair of the MDHF Brian Penman reminds us that the needs of the Hospital are ever present. “The big work is never done. Every day the city of Milton and its healthcare demands expand. We want to keep the hospital front and centre in people’s minds. There are only a handful of things that unite a whole community and healthcare is one of them.”
Photos: by Sarah Arfan