Yesterday I attended the Spring fundraiser held by the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Guild in Burbank, CA. This hospital is very special to me as this is where I had all of my cancer-related surgeries so although I have attended their events in the past, this is the first one since my own experiences with this hospital. And with the profits from yesterday’s event, the Guild has successfully completed their goal to raise $1,000,000 for the recently completed Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center.
The event was spectacular with a theme of “Run for the Roses” which is the theme of the Kentucky Derby. Everyone was decked out in their Spring finery and many women showed off the most gorgeous hats that I have seen in a long time. There was a boutique, a silent auction, a luncheon and a fashion show. But as fabulous as I found the event, nothing could override my appreciation of the time and effort and commitment of all of those Guild members who volunteer their services at the hospital and for this event and other events throughout the whole year.
I also want to note that a number of the doctors who provide services at the hospital also walked the runway with the models as part of the fashion show. I was really struck by their commitment in this way but they also participated not only in this manner but also by their interaction with the guests and with major financial contributions to the event as well.
I have to give a special thanks to Kirk’s mother, Flora, who is a member of the hospital’s Guild and who first introduced me to what they do and provided me with the opportunity to see these women in action. They provide countless hours of volunteer services to the hospital and have taken on the additional duties of planning and staging a number of fund raising events throughout the year. And from my own experiences when needing surgeries at this hospital, the camaraderie between staff and volunteers is amazing and forms a real family feeling inside their facilities.
I know that this is not the only place in this country where one finds such a giving spirit among its community members. But I wanted to share my own personal experiences to perhaps help others to know how much all of their efforts in helping others are truly appreciated. It also reminds me that there are always ways to help others and our communities even when we may not be in a position to make a financial contribution.
If nothing else, it costs absolutely nothing to let those who you know who have helped you and/or others in the community that their efforts make a difference and how much they are truly appreciated. We just need to remember that we are all in this together and that there is no other country in the world where the people are kinder or more generous or more giving or more caring than right here in our own country. And we can all choose to make a difference!
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.