A “virtual gala” – seems a contradiction in terms, right — no drinks, no hors d-oeuvres? Of course, going online is what the pandemic has meant for many these days.
But Neighborhood Healthcare is using that strategy already with early success.
On September 26, 5-6 p.m. Neighborhood Healthcare will hold its annual fund-raising gala by means of distance participation, calling it a “Watch Party.” Gala events will include music, completion of an online auction, messages from some of those the organization has helped, and the opportunity to honor one of its board members, Escondido resident Elmer Cameron.
A Neighborhood Healthcare representative termed the gala a “bellwether event,” given its pre-event success. Preliminary publicity and word-of-mouth has already raised $250,000 — from initial online auction proceeds, gala ticket sales, and donations – compared to a total of $160,000 raised at last year’s gala.
Adding to the amount thus far raised will be the results of the completed auction, begun on Sept. 20 and concluding at the September 26 Watch Party.
A key event at the gala will be presentation of Neighborhood’s Healthcare “Servant Leader Award” to Elmer Cameron, an organization director for the past three years and long-term advocate of Escondido community development.
In a chat with Cameron, he said he joined the organization’s board because he was so impressed with its focus on providing healthcare to those most in need. And he wanted “to get the word out” to the community concerning that effort.
Cameron brings to Neighborhood Healthcare his background as a previous board member of the Escondido elementary school district and as a member of the Escondido City Council. He has also been involved over the past two years in communicating Neighborhood Healthcare’s work – and its need for state support – to California legislators.
Referring to his experience on previous boards, Cameron said he has been impressed with that of Neighborhood Healthcare, especially “the variety of experience and expertise provided by other board members and how well they work together.” Staff members, he said, “are very, very sharp.”
Neighborhood Healthcare said Cameron’s long-standing activity in support of Escondido has been especially important: “He knows what the community needs and his connections have been invaluable.”
Neighborhood Healthcare reports this past year serving 67,000 residents of San Diego and Riverside Counties at its 16 locations, with 270,000 medical, dental and behavioral healthcare visits.
For tickets to the Watch Party, go to Nhcare.org/fundraising/.