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Avera gala surpasses $60,000

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News Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Tracy Pardy has a word to describe Gala 2014: “Fabulous.”

The Avera Queen of Peace Foundation director said initial estimates are showing last week’s fundraiser for the foundation, themed The Great Gatsby — Vintage Glamour, netted between $60,000 and $70,000. Offi cial results will not be available for a couple of weeks.

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“I am absolutely thrilled. When you can raise between $60,000 and $70,000 in one night, from a community of this size?” Pardy said. “It’s hard to put into words.”

It’s down from last year’s fundraiser, which brought in $99,000, but Pardy said even the auctioneer noted that last year’s jump to $99,000 from $41,000 the year prior was rare.

“People work hard for their money; they don’t have to give it to you,” she said. “The fact that people came out that night, they dressed up, donated their money, is such a blessing. It’s so moving and such an inspiration.”

Last year’s funds provided about 300 cancer screenings for people in the community, Pardy said. This year, Pardy said the donations will go to the Foundation’s Caring for Life, or “greatest needs” fund. She said that means the funds can be used to help any critical aspect of health care being provided to patients, which will include continued cancer screenings, charity care and medical equipment “to continue to provide the best health care available.” There will be a gala every year, she said. Next year’s has been scheduled for Jan. 30. The theme has not yet been selected.

A video that was shown during the event, “A Higher Power,” will be available to view online at the foundation’s website soon, Pardy said.

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