Over 900 Saratogians fell down the rabbit hole together last Wednesday for Saratoga Hospital’s 32nd Annual Summer Gala. With picture perfect weather, the polo meadow was transformed into a spectacular wonderland as guests arrived at the “Mad Tea Party” themed event. Co-Chairs Chelsea Silver and Robin Dalton stood amongst the brightly colored oversized daisies and welcomed attendees as party goers admired the whimsical décor.
Tiny glass bottles filled with iced tea and Harvest vodka adorned with bejeweled ‘drink me’ tags were passed as guests explored the tents, one featuring a stunning top hat hung from the ceiling and tiny tea party set high above the silent auction items and the other, featuring the queen of hearts and red and black touches.
The décor was complemented by the world class food from Jennie Jurkiewicz and Chef Shawn Nash and their team at Saratoga Casino and Raceway who took inspiration from the evening’s theme and offered guests everything from sumptuous lamb chops and seared tuna, to a dazzling display of tiny confections. Ed and Maureen Lewi, Mike and Marlene Okby, Greg and Suzanne Grande, Rod and Amy Sutton, Delores and Frank Parillo and Sylvia and Paul Heiner were all spotted making their way through the tents before the live auction began.
The live auction at this Gala in particular is always one of the most impressive of the season, and this year did not disappoint. The bidding got off to a strong start with Jenn and Kyle Perry taking home a fabulous Miami Heat Package and continued to heat up as the evening progressed. Terry Amrosino will be enjoying a trip to see the Country Music Awards and Brian Crowley was thrilled to win Yankees Legends Tickets. When some particularly coveted items were up for bid, the action was so heated, emcee Terrence Collier was able to secure the donation of two items, thrilling the crowd. That was the case with the customized golf cart which was taken home by Kate Calbone and a very surprised Angelo Calbone as well as Rich and Mary Flaherty. The chef’s dinner donated by Bob and Mary Alice Lee at the Wishing Well was also won twice; once by long time hospital supporters Mike and Linda Toohey and then in a surprise move, Terry Lee donated herself as part of the dinner package and Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson raised their bid to $50,000 to win the dinner. The generosity of Mrs. Whitney and Mr. Hendrickson brought the crowd to its feet, as they thanked the event’s Honorary Chairs for their incredible donation towards Saratoga Hospital and the Community Health Resource Center.
Bob and Lisa Moser were the other high bidder’s of the evening and were spotted talking with Julie Bonacio after the auction about their new Orange County Chopper which Bob tells us will be displayed in his office on Railroad place. Several of the Gala’s previous chairs were on hand celebrating the evening including Mary Gavin and Jim Lavigne, Julie and Scott Johnson and Colleen and Skip Carlson as well as Dr Phillip Fear, Dr. David Strauss, Frank and Colleen Messa, Lisa Stratton and others from CDPHP.
Also in the crowd were Joe and Gloria Dalton, Candace and Charles Wait, Patty Riggi and Sandy Foley and Cara and Toby Milde. For the first time in over 15 years, Tom and Kristie Roohan were unable to attend the Gala but continued to give generously to the event, their box on Traver’s Day alone was auctioned for $5500! (Next year’s Gala Chairs tell us they have pledged to sync their calendars with the Roohans for the scheduling of the 2015 event.)Also in the crowd were Joe and Gloria Dalton, Candace and Charles Wait, Patty Riggi and Sandy Foley and Cara and Toby Milde. For the first time in over 15 years, Tom and Kristie Roohan were unable to attend the Gala but continued to give generously to the event, their box on Traver’s Day alone was auctioned for $5500! (Next year’s Gala Chairs tell us they have pledged to sync their calendars with the Roohans for the scheduling of the 2015 event.)
Organizers were thrilled to net $298,000 from last Wednesday’s party, $22,000 over the 2014 goal. The money from the Summer Gala will go towards the operation of the Hospital’s Community Health Center which provides high quality medical, dental and behavioral health services to every member of the Saratoga community, regardless of their ability to pay.