Morgan Memorial “Festival of Friends” fund-raiser upcoming
By Kathryn Purcell
From Venice to Vegas, and everything Cajun to Copenhagen, this year’s Festival of Friends, sponsored by the Morgan Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, features an eclectic mix of themes, and flavors.
The event, a fund-raiser for the Auxiliary now in its eighth year, will take place on Saturday, August 16, and will begin with a cocktail party, sponsored by 12 area physicians, at the James Madison Conference Center at 6 p.m.
Also part of the cocktail party, a raffle and silent auction will be held. The raffle item is a diamond pendant and 18-carat white gold chain, a $1,500 value, donated by Whidby Jewelers. Tickets for the raffle can be purchased at Amelia’s Apparel, John Jordyn Studio Salon, Pure Bliss Spa & Shop and Whidby Jewelers at a cost of $15 for one ticket, or $25 for two.
The silent auction includes a multitude of items as well: a 10-day trip to Ireland for four people; a weekend at a Pine Mountains cabin; a weekend at a Hilton Head condominium; one night stays at the James Madison Inn, the Madison Oaks Inn and Gardens and the Brady Inn; rounds of golf at Reynolds Plantation, Harbor Club and Cuscowilla; a “fanciful autumn luncheon” at a Monticello farm; an Italian rustica dinner for eight prepared at your home; a “Teepee for Me”; tickets for the 2009 Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s Chamber Music Festival as well as a Braves game; reserve seats for the 2009 Cultural Center season, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performance; a custom-knit sweater coat; gift certificates to Town 220, Madison ChopHouse Grille, Petals, Spa Adonia and more; paintings; and jewelry, among many other items.
At 8 p.m., following the cocktail party, guests will arrive at one of nine parties, thrown by local residents. Parties range in price from $50 to $150, and seat from eight to 75 people, depending on the party.
Themes include “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” a party for 75 people featuring barbecue and Vegas-style games; “San Francisco, New Orleans, London, Paris, Amsterdam,” a party for eight featuring worldly, and Southern, cuisine; “You May Not be able to ‘Hang Ten’…,” a Hawaiian luau-inspired party for 50; “I’ll Take Romance,” a love-, and literary-, themed party for 12; “Copenhagen on Candler,” a Scandinavian-inspired party for 10; “Porch to Porch, Patio to Patio Around Valley Farm,” a progressive dinner for 24; “Float with your Friends through an Enchanted Evening in Venice,” an intimate Italian dinner party for 12; “An Elegant Evening in Old Madison,” a party for 12 featuring a five-course meal; and “Italian Countryside in the Georgia Countryside,” a party for 12 featuring country Italian cuisine.
While the majority of parties are already sold out, there is still space available at “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” and “You May Not be able to ‘Hang Ten.’” Tickets for the former are $50, while tickets for the latter are $75.
The themes for each of the parties are chosen by the hosts, and planning began for this year’s Festival of Friends last September.
“It takes the whole time,” Mary Lawton said. “There are a lot of things to do along the way.”
In its eight years, the Festival of Friends has raised more than $200,000, all of which goes towards equipment for Morgan Memorial Hospital. With the money, the hospital has been able to purchase a telemetry station, anesthesia machine, colonoscopes, an X-ray machine and, most recently, a C-ARM for the operating room. The Auxiliary also plans to place $40,000 worth of equipment in the new outpatient therapy center.
These purchases hit close to home for Lawton, as they do for many Morgan County residents.
“My husband had surgery last week, so he was the beneficiary of the C-ARM that the Auxiliary purchased for the hospital,” Lawton said. “Had we not had that C-ARM, I don’t think our orthopedist could come to the hospital to perform surgery.”
To purchase tickets for this year’s Festival of Friends, call (706) 752-2237 or (706) 342-1565.