For a fifth year, Mike and Leanne Laurin were the presenting sponsor at the annual Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation gala fundraiser on Saturday, May 14 – and this year, they were able to do it in person, with the easing of pandemic restriction allowing the event to return to the Coast Langley City Hotel and Convention Centre.
They told the Langley Advance Times they were moved by the quality of care Leanne’s mom, Sandra Dayton, received at the hospital when she passed away in 2015.
“After that, we kind of sat back and decided as a family that the care was so great, we wanted to give back to the community,” Mike explained.
“It’s very personal,” Leanne remarked.
“A lot of people feel that the government funds everything in the medical system, and they don’t. There’s a lot of shortfalls and we thought we need to fill those gaps,” she added.
Both were happy to be resuming the in-person version of the gala, with Mike describing it as a “welcome change.”
An estimated 280 people attended the sold-out event, which raised $205,000.
Last year, a virtual version of the gala raised $311,000 towards the purchase of a badly-needed new ventilator for the hospital.
In 2020, the gala had to be cancelled.
In 2019, the last in-person gala before the pandemic had an old-Hollywood theme. Held at the Langley Events Centre, it hosted 450 guests and supported the Emergency Response campaign to build a new emergency department and MRI Suite at Langley Memorial Hospital. That year’s gala raised $350,000.
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This year’s event, entitled “Monet’s Garden,” featured a French-inspired dinner and an opportunity for guests to take part in a ‘Grow a Garden of Hope’ art installation.
Created by local artist and Langley City Councillor Rosemary Wallace, donors were encouraged to buy hand-made flowers at the gala to apply to her painting, done as a tribute to the legendary Monet.
Made by seniors at Chartwell’s Langley Gardens residence, the flowers were created from coffee filters, repurposed and coloured – a touch Wallace was delighted by.
“I love the whole idea of having the seniors involved,” Wallace enthused.
This year’s event also include a silent and live auction, live entertainment, and a wine draw.
Auctioneer Marc Bergevin, of Adesa, oversaw the live bidding, with the top item, a Whistler getaway package, going for $4,200.
Guests purchased more than $10,000 worth of medical equipment for the hospital and for Foundry Langley, a new facility that will offer health and wellness services, support and resources for young people aged 12 to 24 and their families and caregivers.
Proceeds from this year’s gala will be split between the Foundry Langley and Langley Memorial Hospital.
More photos from the evening can be viewed at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
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