Foundation Update Written By Jacob Chavez

Roaring into the Twenties

With the completion of the Sportsman Raffle in February, the IMH Foundation now turns its attention towards their biggest (and grandest) fundraising event of the year – La Grande Fleur.

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The Ivin­son Memo­r­ial Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion is well into the plan­ning phase of orga­niz­ing their annual La Grande Fleur (LGF) fundraiser, which will occur on May 4th, 2019, at the Marian H. Rochelle Gate­way Center in Laramie.

The black-tie event’s primary focus this year will be to raise money for the Foundation’s tech­nol­ogy and inno­va­tion fund — a fund used to purchase new, cutting-edge equip­ment for Ivin­son. The Foun­da­tion has set a goal of secur­ing $200,000 in net revenue, which is on-par with last year’s net earn­ings of approx­i­mately $218,000.

This Year’s Theme

Each year, the event is centered around a unique and excit­ing theme, which is selected by La Grande Fleur event chairs. In recent years past, event themes have included, Night on the Hawai­ian Shore,” and Danc­ing with Diamonds,” an evening cele­brat­ing the hospital’s 100-year anniversary.

This year, however, event chairs Steve and Nancy Stutz­man have selected the theme of, Roar­ing into the 20’s,” an homage to the Roar­ing Twen­ties, the era in west­ern history marked by economic growth, the rise of Jazz music and many tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments. Art Deco adorn­ments, flap­per dresses and zoot suits all promise to trans­form the University’s Gate­way Center into a living time machine.

People can really get into the roles of the parts,” says Beth Jones, direc­tor of the IMH Foun­da­tion. I would say the theme is going to be so fun, and will really create an envi­ron­ment unlike anything the Gate­way Center has seen before,” she adds.

Beth has been work­ing closely with her staff, as well as the vari­ous commit­tees that help plan La Grande Fleur, to ensure that the night runs as smoothly as possi­ble. This is Beth’s third time help­ing to orga­nize La Grande Fleur as direc­tor, which means she’s prepared to handle any surprises that inevitably crop up during the plan­ning process.

The premise of every Foun­da­tion event is the same, in the sense that it’s all about the people. Creat­ing the best envi­ron­ment for our guests to have the best time, no matter what the event is – we try to make that our first prior­ity,” says Beth.

Fund­ing New Tech at Ivinson

In recent years, the event has placed new empha­sis on rais­ing aware­ness of the needs of the hospi­tal, in addi­tion to rais­ing funds through table sales, silent auction items and paddle-raises. For 2019, the Foun­da­tion wants to focus its fundrais­ing efforts on improv­ing tech­nol­ogy and inno­va­tion at Ivinson.

That’s one of our five primary fund­ing projects that we’ve commit­ted to for the next six years, until 2025,” adds Beth. The tech­nol­ogy and inno­va­tion funds helps contribute to things like the robot, or the elas­tog­ra­phy soft­ware that we just funded for radi­ol­ogy,” says Beth.

Beth goes on to explain that money in the tech­nol­ogy and inno­va­tion fund is not restricted to purchas­ing new equip­ment, but is also avail­able to be used as seed money’ to fund projects and ideas around the hospi­tal. This will allow staff members and providers with new, inno­v­a­tive ideas to submit propos­als to request startup money, and get their ideas off the ground.

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Build­ing Excitement

But of course, like every year, the lead-up to the big night brings with it excite­ment, chal­lenges and crowded office suites. For several weeks prior to the event, depart­ments from around the hospi­tal begin to deliver their Silent Auction contri­bu­tions to the Foun­da­tion offices, as Foun­da­tion staff iron out the final details of the night.

Every single depart­ment in the hospi­tal helps contribute to the silent auction, which the guests love,” Beth added. It speaks so highly of how involved our hospi­tal is in support­ing one another.”

For one Foun­da­tion staff member, this will be her first time attend­ing La Grande Fleur.

I’ve heard so many great things about the event, and I’m just look­ing forward to seeing it for the first time,” says Kather­ine Rati­gan, coor­di­na­tor for the IMH Foun­da­tion. Kather­ine has worked for Ivin­son since Septem­ber 2018, and recently trans­ferred from the Extended Care Facil­ity to the Foun­da­tion in Janu­ary of this year.

Kather­ine brings a fresh perspec­tive and new ideas to her role as the coor­di­na­tor, and plays a pivotal part in ensur­ing things go to plan on the night of event. The scope of the event, how many people attend and how much plan­ning goes behind one night… It’s surpris­ing to me is how much work goes into one thing,” says Katherine.

Getting Tick­ets

For those who are inter­ested in purchas­ing tick­ets to this year’s La Grande Fleur, both Kather­ine and Beth suggest acting quickly. Through presale events such as the Employee Giving campaign, many tick­ets for the event have already been held in reserve.

Call­ing is the best way to reserve your spot, and time is of the essence,” says Beth. And tick­ets will prob­a­bly sell out,” adds Katherine.

You can purchase tick­ets by call­ing the Foun­da­tion at (307) 7554520.