“Someone I Know” celebrates $4 million mark of capital campaign with one-of-a-kind night

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St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation board member Andrea Macko-Hdges, left, presents David Baxter with tickets 001-004 for the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation’s upcoming first-ever Brightest Night coctail reception, taking place Friday, June 24 on the scenic Grand Trunk Trail trestle bridge overlooking St. Marys. Tickets are $50, including one drink, and went on sale this week. The Queen Street “Someone I Know” campaign thermometer has not yet been updated to address that they’ve collected $4 million towards their $5 million goal.

“Party of the year” slated for trestle bridge on June 24

As a thank-you to the community which has so strongly united to support local healthcare,the board of the St. Marys Memorial Hospital Foundation is offering a one-of-a-kind evening in a one-of-a-kind location.

The Foundation’s first-ever Brightest Night cocktail reception takes place on Friday, June 24 on the spectacularly scenic Grand Trunk Trail trestle bridge overlooking St. Marys. The event is so named because it is a celebration of the brilliant support the community has thrown behind the foundation’s “Someone I Know” capital campaign.

Within 15 months of its official launch, donors have contributed over $4 million toward a $5 million goal. The funds are being used to revitalize St. Marys Memorial Hospital and improve and expand the Tradition Mutual Centre for Wellness to allow for more services and more teaching opportunities from the University of Western Ontario’s medical school.

“We are so impressed by the support the community has shown toward this campaign,” says foundation chair John McIntosh. “From large corporate donations to smaller donations from social groups, schools and individuals, so many have already contributed toward improving our hospital and wellness centre. It’s inspiring and our board wants to show our appreciation as we continue toward our goal.”

The idea to host such an event on the trestle came from a community member, notes foundation board member Andrea Macko. “The foundation has become known for our fabulous biennial gala; one of our volunteers suggested we take advantage of our town’s beautiful trail system for another fundraiser,” Macko says. “While fundraising is vital to our foundation, we also want to celebrate our success with the community which has so strongly supported local, primary healthcare.”

The event date is integral to the Brightest Night theme – it’s the closest Friday to the Summer Solstice on June 20, so attendees will enjoy a 10 p.m. sunset from the best location in town (and if the weather is less than ideal, the rain date is Saturday, June 25). The trail and trestle will be closed from Wellington Street westward for the event, and the entire area will be specially decorated for the night. Live music will waft through the evening air, and a few surprises are in the works to make for a memorable evening.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their brightest and best party clothes for the night – and sensible footwear to safely navigate the trail and trestle. Parking will be available at the former Dresden site at the north end of Wellington Street. This location will serve as the sole entry to the event. A golf cart shuttle from the parking lot to the bridge will be offered for those who desire it.

Brightest Night runs from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday, June 24. The event is licensed and appetizers will be served. Non-alcoholic refreshments will also be available. Tickets are $50 each, which includes a complimentary beverage for a 9 p.m. toast. Only 200 tickets are available by advance purchase only. Tickets can be purchased on the hospital foundation’s website by visiting www.someoneiknow.ca and clicking on “events” or by calling Andrea Macko at 519-280-1240.

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