With each passing year, the Gala grows more successful. The numbers are astounding considering the impetus for the initial 1986 gala. John Dooley and Jerry Durr had an idea for a special event that would thank the community for its support of the hospital, and any net proceeds would be dedicated to fund special projects for the hospital. To put this idea into action, they turned to future Foundation board member Virginia Brown. Along with husband Dr. Dor Brown, Virginia served as chairman for the first six galas and worked on the steering committee for an additional five.
What began as a gesture of thanks over 30 years ago has become a biennial event with widespread support from the community and beyond, providing more than $3.5 million in net proceeds to date. Special hospital projects, such as the single patient room transition, CT scanner, MRI machine and most recently, the renovation and expansion of the HCM department of obstetrics, have all benefited from the ongoing goodwill and generosity of gala patrons.