SEATTLE, March 26, 2007 – A record $3.4 million was raised at Swedish's annual gala dinner auction, Celebrate Swedish, March 24 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. More than 970 guests attended the event, which featured the theme, "Around the World in One Spectacular Night."
Now in its 22nd year, this event is the Swedish Foundation's largest fund-raiser of the year. In 2006, net revenue from Celebrate Swedish totaled $1.45 million.
As a nonprofit, Swedish's mission is to improve the health and well-being of each person it serves, regardless of their ability to pay. In support of that commitment, $1 million of the $3.4 million raised will benefit charity-care services and other programs that help Swedish respond to community needs.
The other $2.4 million raised through the auction's "Fund-A-Need" effort will be used to create the Pacific Northwest's first pediatric and perinatal simulation center specifically designed to advance the skills of already well-trained health-care teams in critical clinical situations.
Seattle residents Cheryl and Bill Gossman donated $1 million toward the establishment of what will be known as the Gossman Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Simulation. The Moyer Foundation, created by former Seattle Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife, Karen, contributed $250,000 toward the effort. Once it opens in 2008 at Swedish/First Hill, the center will allow highly specialized medical teams to perfect their skills efficiently at scheduled training sessions, without the involvement of real – and very vulnerable – pediatric patients.
One of the highlights of the evening came when Swedish's retiring President and CEO Richard Peterson announced he had a special Northwest welcoming gift for incoming President and CEO Rodney Hochman, M.D., and his wife, Nancy, who have moved here from Virginia. At that point, the famous fish throwers from Pike Place Market appeared, shouting and skillfully throwing salmon back and forth all around the ballroom. In the end, one was presented to the Hochmans on a silver platter.
Live-auction items of note included a four-night stay in Paris for two including roundtrip airfare and an invitation-only tour of the Louis Vuitton mansion; two pieces of glass art by renowned local glass artist Dale Chihuly valued at $5,000 each; and a 10-day trip to Italy's Tuscany and Umbria regions for a winery tour and truffle hunt.
KOMO Television News Anchor Dan Lewis emceed the gala while Dick and Sharon Friel served as auctioneers. Event chairs were Cheryl and Bill Gossman.