By Paula Walter
The Johnson County Community Hospital Foundation held its gala event, Taste of the Mountains, this past Saturday evening. This year, the venue for the successful fundraisers was RedTail Mountain Golf and Country Club.
The members of the Johnson County Community Hospital Foundation Board had set their sights on raising enough funds to purchase a neo-natal incubator for those babies born at Johnson County Community Hospital who may need some extra support soon after their birth. The drive to a larger hospital takes precious time, especially if it involves driving around Watauga Lake into Johnson City, or even into Abingdon or Boone. Babies have their own agenda and a local hospital is a haven for a mother about to give birth who needs immediate medical attention.
Since its inception, the Johnson County Community Hospital has raised approximately $140,000 that has directly impacted the lives of those living in the county. The pediatric emergency room was one of the organizations first endeavors. This room was designed after Niswonger Childrens Hospital pediatric emergency room. The thought behind the design if the patient needs to be transported to Niswonger Childrens Hospital in Johnson City for further care, they will be in a familiar environment. The lobby at the hospital now has a chapel that offers a quiet place to reflect and pray. The digital mammography unit with diagnostic equipment is now in place, allowing a physician in another location to read a patients mammogram results in real time.
Guests had approximately two hours to peruse the large selection of donated items for the silent auction before the evening meal was served. There were 59 items that included wooden handcrafted creations, paintings, local services, artwork, theatre tickets, photography sessions, flower arrangements, certificates for hair salon, jewelry, dinner at the local winery, a propane grill, pottery and other beautifully decorated items, among many others.
Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, a talented auctioneer, began the live auction after the evening meal and quickly moved through the 17 items that were donated to raise monies for the foundation board. He worked the room to garner the most amount of money possible and a few bidding wars ensued. The items included a round of golf and lunch at RedTail, along with a golf bag, a gas heater, a handmade king-sized quilt, a basket designed for children that included a $100 savings bond, nativity set, Heritage Hall season passes, a pontoon boat rental, an hour sightseeing trip on a Trail dragger airplane, a week long Florida getaway, a mantel clock and bear carving, a painting by Lloyd Taylor, several framed photos by John Melton, and a handcrafted hope chest.
Guests enjoyed a delicious meal that included salad, cornbread, chicken and prime rib, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, southern green beans and homemade yeast rolls prepared by RedTail. The melt in your mouth desserts were donated by local restaurants and caterers, and included Italian cream cake, Blueberry Cheese Cake, Chocolate covered eclairs, French Vanilla Almond cake, butterscotch pie, raspberry cake, cheese freeze sour cream cheese cake, gourmet chocolate chip cookies, cheeses and a fruit tray.
The evening was a huge success, and at first glance approximately $22,000 was raised Saturday night at the Taste of the Mountain event, far exceeding the goal of $17,766. I am really humbled by the outpouring of generosity, said Karen Clark, Corporate Director of Fund Development for Mountain States Health Alliance.
By Paula Walter