Gala’s live auction has destination theme

AUCTION COMMITTEE — Among members of the auction committee looking forward to the Ohio Valley Health Center’s annual gala on May 4 at the Steubenville Country Club to the theme “Arabian Nights” are, clockwise, from left, Eileen Petrola, Chris Hyland, committee Chair Betty Ferron, Dr. Frank Petrola, health center Executive Director Trudy Wilson and Chris Orris. Suzanne Brown also is a committee member. The live auction will feature a destination theme, and the evening also will include a variety of Chinese auction items and a “Restaurant Tree,” featuring more than $500 in restaurant gift cards and certificates.

STEUBENVILLE — Supporters attending the Ohio Valley Health Center’s upcoming “Arabian Nights” fundraiser gala could go home with a magic carpet ride to far away or closer-to-home lands of leisure.

That is if they’re among the successful bidders in the live auction segment of the gala, which will be held May 4 at the Steubenville Country Club. It begins at 5 p.m. with champagne and hors d’eouvres, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 each. For information, call (740) 283-2856. The center’s website is www.ovhealthcenter.org.

“We like to have a different gala theme each year, celebrating different cultures or eras of history, and this year we decided to do a destination theme for our live auction,” explained Trudy Wilson, the health center’s executive director.

“We have put together packages in which auction winners will take trips or vacations to places or events. We are so pleased to have so many destinations to offer in our live auction this year,” she added.

Some of the destinations include:

¯ A condo for one week on Panama Beach in Florida, donated by Gala Co-Chairs Kyle and Sheila Brown;

¯ A Brandywine Bed and Breakfast package, donated by Tricia Maple-Damewood, and including an overnight stay, a tray of pizza and goodies;

¯ Le Chateau Pier Bed and Breakfast package for Father’s Day, donated by Todd Piergallini, and including an overnight stay, breakfast and dinner;

¯ A Grandvue Park package, including an overnight stay in a Treetop Villa, two all-day activity passes and two zip line rides;

¯ An overnight stay at the Holiday Inn in Weirton, plus dinner;

¯ Seven Springs Mountain Resort, donated by The Herald-Star and including an overnight stay for two, breakfast buffet, swimming and exercise room and a $50 gift card for onsite shopping;

¯ An overnight stay and dinner at the Hotel Monico in Pittsburgh, donated by Dr. Tom and Suzanne Brown; and

¯ “A trip” to WTOV9 studios, including a $1,000 advertising package.

“I’m very excited about the live auction this year,” Wilson said. “We have a ‘destination’ theme, and the live auction mostly features places to visit or to vacation.”

John Westling, local real estate agent and auctioneer, will return to serve as event auctioneer.

“John is always so much fun to have participate in our live auction,” Wilson said. “He brings a lot of energy to the auction and is a hit with the gala crowd.”

Another onsite fundraiser at the gala is the Chinese auction, which will feature a variety of “great items,” according to Wilson.

They include gift baskets from OV Harvest Olive Oils and Vinegars donated by Dr. John and Chris Hyland; a car cleaning package from Steubenville AutoZone; hanging wind chimes and a frame from McCauslen’s Florist in Steubenville; a carpet runner from Smitty’s Flooring; a framed photo taken by local physician and photographer, Dr. John Hyland; and gift cards and gift certificates.

“We still have a few things up our sleeves related to the auctions, but there will be great items this year,” Wilson said.

Beyond the two auctions, there is a “Restaurant Tree,” featuring more than $500 in restaurant gift cards and certificates.

“I’m grateful for the hard work of the auction committee, including Betty Ferron, chair; Dr. Frank and Eileen Petrola, Chris Orris, Chris Hyland and Suzanne Brown. Our local community of donors who contribute items for the auctions are to be commended. They are so giving and supportive of the work of OVHC. Without these people, the auctions would not be nearly as much fun, and OVHC would not be able to raise as much money to support uninsured patient care.”

The gala is an opportunity, not a requirement, to dress according to the “Arabian Nights” theme.

“This is a semi-formal event where attendees may dress in event-themed clothes or wear regular semi-formal attire,” Wilson said.

“Although Arabian Nights themed clothing is not required, we also plan to recognize the man and woman voted to be wearing the best “Arabian Nights Outfits” at the Gala. The attendees will vote by using $1 for each vote. The man and woman with the most votes at the end of the evening will win a prize. This is such a fun event raising money for such a great cause.”

The gala raises money to help the nonprofit provide health care to the uninsured and underinsured individuals and families in the Ohio Valley, regardless of their ability to pay.

The evening will include a brief program, onsite fundraisers, entertainment and recognition.

“This year we are going to recognize the people who helped bring our new health center to life, so we’re going to recognize the donors and the construction people and the people who really helped get us to this point,” Wilson said.

The Ohio Valley Health Center began seeing patients in January in its new location downtown at 423 South St. in what formerly housed the Neighborhood House Daycare and Preschool. On March 29, it was the site of an open house.

Since its inception in 2006, the Ohio Valley Health Center has provided free services in more than 19,500 patient visits and dispensed more than $6.5 million in free medications to its patients, according to Wilson who noted that, last year alone, the center dispensed more than $600,000 in free medications.

The center is working to expand its onsite pharmacy services into a community charitable pharmacy, where low-income patients of other providers may be able to get their prescriptions filled, Wilson said.

(Kiaski can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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