Champagne, red and white wine flowed as the country tunes of Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and others greeted the more than 150 women arriving at the Reata Event Center on a sunny Friday, May 16 for the Sixth Annual Wine, Women and Chocolate gala.
The event, a yearly festivity sponsored by the Oak Valley Hospital Foundation, benefits women’s health and wellness programs through Oak Valley Hospital.
“This year we’ve gotten requests from all department doctors, patients, and family members not only for women’s health concerns but for all,” said foundation board member and Wine, Women, and Chocolate coordinator Lana Casey. “This year we will be meeting with the hospital administration to discuss possible purchases for the hospital to benefit all.”
Through its 34-year history the foundation has purchased over 10 ambulances and other medical equipment including a digital mammography machine. The foundation was also active in procuring bonds and bestowments for the newly built hospital.
Casey said that the foundation was extremely active this year assisting patients who were having problems with their insurance carriers for pharmaceutical needs and other services that were initially denied.
“We were on the phone a lot to some of these carriers either getting costs covered or at least knocked down,” Casey said. “In some cases the foundation paid for patient prescriptions, diagnostic testing, mammograms and counselling services.”
One of this year’s windfalls was a bequeathment totaling over $240,000.
“That money will be used for patient services along with women’s wellness,” said Casey.
The foundation recognized this year’s honoree, Suzette Titus for her many hours of volunteering at the hospital and for her fundraising for hospital programs.
“She and her husband, Dan, worked endlessly raising money for Oak Valley Hospital,” said Foundation President Saundra Sward when announcing Titus. “They’ve always supported each other in all they’ve done. I hope he gets some credit too.”
After the presentation, Titus said she was surprised by the acknowledgement.
“We do this to give back to the community,” Titus said. “It’s been good to us and we like to give back.”
During the lunch, attendees were treated to a fashion show from London Fox and Spur of the Moment in Oakdale. A silent and live auction accompanied the event.
“This is always a good cause,” said Robin Groth, a past coordinator of the event and owner of The Reata. “The foundation does well and the women all have a good time.”