It was another successful year for the Foothills Country Hospice's Gratitude and Giving Gala.

The gala is the hospice's biggest annual fundraising event, and just one of the contributors the $1.5 million they need to raise each year to offer their free services.

This year's event, the Mystical Masquerade, was held on October 28.

Events coordinator Robyn Alford says the community came through once again.

"We're still crunching everything, but at this point right now, I can say that our gross fundraising from the evening was $200,000, which is a huge amount from a single event."

Attendees had a few ways to contribute at the event, including through a wine tower, which was a new addition.

"We accepted donated bottles of wine, wrapped them up, and sold them off for $20 each, and it was a mystery for anyone who bought the wine. That sold out, I think it was even before dinner had started. We had over 100 bottles of wine that were given to the hospice."

Returning from previous galas was the wish wall, where attendees could pay for supplies and necessities for the hospice, including bedsheets, patient care for a day, snow removal, and bereavement boxes. A live auction was also held, with contributions from various local organizations.

country hospice wishing wallThe wish wall featured a variety of items and services with a wide range of costs, which attendees could pay for on the spot. 

A highlight of the night for Alford was the group coming together to chip in for one of the costlier wish wall items.

"We were looking for a new shower chair for some of our residents. Some of the equipment is very expensive, and this shower chair in particular is over $16,000. That's just for one shower chair. We moved that from the wish wall to the live auction, and our auctioneer started large and then went down. We were able to get a group of people who donated $500 each, and we're now so close to reaching that $16,000. I think we're only $1000 off that mark."

The hospice also saw support from a long list of event sponsors on top of the donations made at the gala itself.

The joint effort from so many local residents, businesses, and organizations to support the hospice each year never ceases to astonish.

"We were just having our meeting to go over the results of the gala and some of the comments were what a positive vibe the whole evening had and how it was a very joyous and celebratory type of feeling in the room. I think that's because everyone comes together and understands what the big purpose of the evening is, and understands that we're helping each other out and, in particular, our local community," says Alford.

"On behalf of the hospice, I really want to thank the community that came out and supported the gala. In particular, our volunteers were amazing that evening, they spent their time helping to organize the night and make it a success. All the people who sponsored up front that helped us get this off the ground so that we could run the gala, we couldn't do what we do without them. And then everyone who came and contributed that evening, it's a very special night and we were filled with gratitude at the end of the evening."

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