UH News

UH Portage Medical Center Gala Raises Over $107,000

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ravenna, Ohio – The beautiful grounds and rustic ambiance of ThornCreek Winery and Gardens in Aurora was the setting for The Jewel of Portage County Gala, supporting University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, on October 24. The event raised over $107,000 to benefit the hospital’s oncology programs and services.

The evening commenced with a reception where guests explored the casual elegance of the winery and strolled the landscaped grounds while enjoying dulcimer and fiddle music by Lisa and Heather Malyuk.

During the reception there was an opportunity for guests to peruse displays describing nine different Raffle Package Sensations, valued at $500 or more, including an Akron Adventure Package, Macy’s Shopping Spree, Bridgestone Invitational Golf experience and a unique “Only in Kent and Ravenna” package showcasing Acorn Alley and a hot air balloon ride.

A popular attraction was the raffle opportunity for two lucky winners and their three guests to win a gourmet dining and wine experience prepared by Dr. Roger Tsai, a physician with the Northeast Ohio Cardiovascular Specialists. Dr. Tsai, a professionally trained gourmet chef, has donated the dinner experience for The Jewel of Portage County Gala since its inception, raising over $53,000. The winners of the Dr. Tsai dinner were Kathy Myers and Judge Barbara Oswick.

A lighted Hope Giving Tree featured hanging pewter wine and spirit companions available for purchase in support the Lyman Mammography Fund through The Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Guests enjoyed dinner, catered by The Driftwood Group, under elegant lighted tents on the ThornCreek property. They were welcomed by Brandy Olefir, chair of the gala committee.

Following dinner, a live auction led by Pamela Rose Auction Company, featured a variety of unique experiences, including vacation homes in Florida, a painting created on site during the gala by artist, Lisa Eastman, a Cleveland Browns game day experience and an opportunity to go behind the scenes at UH Case Medical Center to observe heart surgery.

The highlight of the evening was a special appeal to raise funds for the creation of a Patient and Family Learning Resource Room, part of the new Seidman Cancer Center at UH Portage Medical Center. Oncologist Dr. Fred Marquinez explained to guests the importance of having a dedicated area specifically for patients and anyone in the community needing information related to cancer in a private, comfortable setting. The special appeal exceeded the goal of $20,000 by more than $5,900 to furnish the room.

“The fact that we were able to raise just under $26,000 for the special appeal in less than 15 minutes demonstrated the community’s enthusiastic support for enhancing compassionate and personalized care for oncology patients, which has been the standard at UH Portage Medical Center,” said Sandra Haskell, Interim Executive Director of the Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“The gala’s success in raising funds for oncology programs and services is perfect timing with the establishment of a Seidman Cancer Center at UH Portage Medical Center,” stated Stephen Colecchi, President of UH Portage Medical Center.

The Gala Presenting Sponsor was The Fowler Family. Diamond Sponsor was Physicians Emergency Services, Inc.

Sapphire sponsors were: Allen Aircraft Products, Altercare Centers for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care; The Burbick Foundation; Steve and Patti Dean; The Ferner Family; Inpatient Medical Services; Kent State University; Longmeadow Care Center; Saber Healthcare Group – The Woodlands and Aurora Manor; and University Hospitals.

Ruby sponsors were: Stephen and Andrea Colecchi; David and Janet Dix; Deborah Petrone; Direction Home Akron–Canton Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities; Physician Staffing; Portage Pathology Associates, Inc.; PTA Engineering, Inc; Ravenna United Fund; and Sodexo.

Special thanks were extended to the gala committee that included Brandy Olefir (chair), Anthony Badalamenti, Roxia Boykin, Patricia Chiller, Gregory Ferner, James Fleming, Sandra Haskell, Karen Horky, Ann Otto, Stacey Rusher and Ruth Saltzman.

Since 2006, the Jewel of Portage County Galas have netted nearly one million dollars to purchase equipment, renovate treatment areas, fund programs and provide services to patients in need.

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