STEUBENVILLE - A local couple with ties to the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center will co-chair the fundraising gala this year.
Mary and Andy Mihalyo have been named the co-chairs of the sixth-annual event set for April 1 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.
The doors to the banquet hall will open at 5 p.m.
CO-CHAIRING THE GALA — Ann Quillen, left, executive director of the Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center stands with Mary and Andy Mihalyo, co-chairs of the 2012 Jefferson County Fourth Street Health Center gala fundraising campaign.
"This is an opportunity for us to provide leadership for this vital health center that does so much to provide help for those who can't afford health insurance for themselves or their families," said Andy Mihalyo.
"We provide leadership for the gala fundraising that allows Ann Quillen to lead the health center. We can reach out to community leaders and supporters for the financial assistance needed for the health center," added Andy Mihalyo.
"It is an honor for us to lend our names to such a wonderful event and cause and to do what we can to help others," he said.
The 2011 gala campaign raised more than $100,000, and Mary Mihalyo took an ambitious approach to the 2012 campaign goal.
"Our goal is $200,000," she said.
"It is a major step in our fundraising, but it is needed this year because of plans to open a dental clinic and a pharmacy," Mary Mihalyo said.
"We will be working hard to fulfill the mission of the health center and the pharmacy. At the present time, we offer help through the Theraputic Community Charitable Foundation that allows us to provide medicine to the clinic. We established the pharmacy about five years ago. I have also been able to bring pharmacy students from my program at Duquesne University to help at the health center.The clinic allows us to provide ambulatory care training for doctor of pharmacy students," said Mary Mihalyo.
The gala will again feature a drawing for what the Mihalyos described as major prizes.
"The people of Jefferson County should be proud of the way they have supported the health center since it opened. We have come a long way, but there is still so much more to be done. We still need the support of everyone in the county. Just a $5 donation pays for medicine for 30 days for a patient," stated Mary Mihalyo.
Tickets can be purchased by calling Quillen at the Fourth Street Health Center at (740) 283-2856.
"There are still a large number of Jefferson County residents who are uninsured and need our help. The health center provides medical help to those who have no health insurance," remarked Mary Milalyo.
Quillen said he former medical office building adjacent to the health center was donated to the clinic and will be used as a dental clinic.
"The renovation work is already under way. That's why the gala is so much more important this year," said Quillen.
"We also want to give people the opportunity to make a donation to the Fourth Street Health Center. Someone may not have the chance to attend the gala but would still like to make a monetary donation. Those donations can be sent to the center at 701 N. Fourth Street, and all amounts will be welcomed," declared Quillen.
"I think people give to the health center because they want to make things better for others. We see a lot of people support the gala in many ways. And it is so easy to support the gala and the health center because we all know someone who for some reason is uninsured," noted Quillen.
Patricia Fletcher, a member of the gala committee, brought the idea of a gala fundraiser to the other trustees approximately seven years ago.
"We spent close to a year organizing and planning and raised $27,000 that first year. We have such excellent committee members who work long hours to make this a bigger success every year. When we first started the gala I really believed the community would support the health center. And that support has grown every year," said Fletcher.