Popping champagne corks could be heard as the wait staff passed hors d’oeuvres when over 275 local women entered the Reata Event Center for the third annual Women, Wine and Chocolate Extravaganza benefiting the Oak Valley Hospital Foundation on Friday, May 13.
Lana Casey and Robin Grohl founded of the charity event that started in 2009 benefiting women’s health and wellness at Oak Valley Hospital. The pair continues to chair and sponsor the luncheon as the proceeds go toward the hospital for the purchase of needed medical equipment and fund mammograms for women.
In its first year the fundraiser generated over $8,000 that went toward maternity educational materials and five mammograms. The second year saw $12,000 raised to supplement the purchase of a digital mammogram machine and additional mammogram funding.
This year’s goal is to have the proceeds go toward the purchase of a cardio-stress machine for the hospital. Patients now have to go to Modesto if the cardio-stress tests are to be done.
“Breast cancer may be a women’s health issue, but more women die of heart disease,” said Casey. “It’s the silent killer.”
After mingling of the attendees, the gala kicked off with a fashion show of residents modeling clothing from local stores. Casey emceed the show as Grohl worked the room going from table to table greeting the guests.
During the lunch of a grilled chicken salad with free-flowing wine and chocolate goodies, Casey acknowledged the Oak Valley volunteers noted for making the patients’ days brighter. She mentioned efforts of crafts and gifts during the holidays and the group’s giving of homemade bears to the pediatrics patients.
Saundra Sward West was honored as this year’s Oak Valley Hospital Foundation Volunteer of the Year. Noted for her “soft hand print” felt throughout the community, Casey acknowledged West as an integral part of the success at the OVH Foundation.
“I was totally overwhelmed,” West modestly said after the presentation. “There are a lot more deserving women than I.”
Silent and live auctions were also a part of the festivity playing a key part in generating revenue for the extravaganza.
Oak Valley Hospital Foundation Executive Director Amy Thompson said she was extremely pleased with the turnout and the contributions of Casey and Grohl to making the event a success.
“This is a great group of women,” Thompson said as she looked around the room. “They’re a strong group of ladies.”