Event raises more than $650,000 for new facility
VAIL — Dinner, dancing and saving lives were the prevailing themes of this year’s Vail Valley Medical Center Family Dinner Dance. Over 450 generous guests of all ages gathered for the 34th annual event, and through ticket sales, sponsorships and lively bidding on over 70 silent and live auction items, the event raised $664,524. All proceeds support the hospital’s new Cardiac Catheterization Lab (Cath Lab), set to open in early 2015.
“It was a heartwarming evening,” said Doris Kirchner, president and CEO of the medical center. “It was nice to see families celebrate the season with old friends and new, and we are grateful to everyone who made the event possible and whose generosity will help fund a vital new service for the community and our visitors.”
The Family Dinner Dance is the hospital’s signature fundraiser and the only black-tie event in the valley for all ages and generations. Children enjoyed games, prizes, art and movies at the Winter Funderland Carnival while adults bid on unique and priceless items like a Kennedy Space Center tour for four, which includes round-trip airfare and a four-night stay in Orlando, astronaut training and lunch with an astronaut. The winners of the Ultimate Vail Ski Day for four will enjoy First Tracks with former World Cup skiers Mike Brown and Cindy Nelson; lunch with Mayor Andy Daly at the Game Creek Club; and massages, dinner and lodging at the Vail Mountain Lodge.
The Family Dinner Dance takes place on Dec. 28 each year to honor the birthday of Thelma Brittan, a good friend to the Vail Valley Medical Center and the wife of Vail Valley Medical Center pioneer Gordon Brittan. This year, Ron Davis was recognized for his years of service as chair of both the Vail Valley Medical Center board of directors and Vail Health Services board. Elaine Kelton was also acknowledged as the event’s honorary chair for her active involvement in the Family Dinner Dance since its inception.
“Elaine has supported the hospital in countless ways over the years, including the Family Dinner Dance,” Kirchner said. “She is a passionate advocate for VVMC, and we are grateful for her support.”
This year’s Family Dinner Dance co-chairs, Katie Campbell and Lindsey Kirby, oversaw a committee of 29 dedicated volunteers and staff who planned each detail, secured each auction item and ensured the event was a night to remember.
“Katie and I are grateful to everyone who helped make this year’s Family Dinner Dance such a success,” Kirby said. “VVMC is the largest nonprofit in the area and a cornerstone of our community. It’s our honor to be able to give back to our community hospital and help raise funds that will truly save lives.”
The Cath Lab will allow physicians to identify and treat cardiac problems and abnormalities. For patients requiring this type of life-saving intervention, access to a Cath Lab is critical to ensure quick restoration of blood flow by opening the arteries. Historically, patients traveled to Denver to receive this treatment. As Eagle County’s population of adults aged 75 and older is projected to increase 222 percent between 2010 and 2020, the Vail Valley Medical Center is taking steps to ensure the needs of residents and guests are met.
Last year’s Family Dinner Dance raised over $500,000 for the renovation of the Vail Valley Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit, making it possible to increase the size and number of patient rooms and update medical equipment.
Next year’s Family Dinner Dance will commemorate VVMC’s 50th anniversary.