5,000 Patient Visits Covered by Generous Donors at Neighborcare’s Inaugural Spring Dinner
Built in 1907 by the Stetson-Ross Company to manufacture machinery used to smooth the surfaces of wood for building boats, Sodo Park is now repurposed for events like Neighborcare Health’s inaugural Spring Dinner. The 280 guests and event sponsors raised more than $100,004 to support patient care, and like the original workers in the facility, smoothed the way for Seattle’s most vulnerable residents to access the vital primary health care services they need and deserve.
Neighborcare is fortunate to receive government grants and reimbursements to provide more than 200,000 visits each year to our most vulnerable neighbors. But that doesn’t cover all the costs of those visits -- the unmet need to be raised from private sources averages just $20 per visit. The funds raised at the Spring Dinner fills the gap to cover 5,000 visits for patients like 89-year old Gail York and her son, Roger.
Mrs. York (shown in the attached photo ©2012 Djordje Zlatanovic, All Rights Reserved) spoke during the evening’s program, describing how Neighborcare’s provider team cared for Roger during his bout with tongue cancer. Roger’s team initially identified the problem and arranged for him to be seen by a specialist. After surgery to remove part of his tongue, he returned to Neighborcare for follow-up care. “We don’t know what we would have done without Neighborcare and our doctor and his team,” Mrs. York recalled. “We didn’t have insurance and didn’t know where to go, but Neighborcare, our neighborhood clinic, was there.”
The event started with a lively social hour for old and new friends, and a performance by the International Lion Dance Team of Seattle led by a brilliant yellow dancing inviting good fortune and prosperity for the sit-down dinner. While dining, the guests listened to remarks by Mark Secord, Neighborcare’s CEO and Executive Director, and Cheryl Scott, a founder of one of Seattle’s first community health clinics, former Group Health CEO and a program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Towards the end of the program, Neighborcare’s newest video debuted.
115 first-time donors attended the event, many coming away with a newfound appreciation for accessible health care. As one first-time donor wrote: “This was my first introduction to your organization and I was very impressed with the work you do and the compassion exhibited. . . . I have learned to never take my good health for granted and so I am happy to support an organization that makes health care available to all. I am just sorry that we have to do it this way. I believe health care should be a human right, and available to ALL!”
At the end of the program, Neighborcare’s Senior Operations Manager Clare Taylor who emceed, closed with a quote from Barbara Kingsolver – “Nothing wondrous can come in this world unless it rests on the shoulders of kindness.” We are humbled and awed by the generosity of the Seattle community in supporting a new fundraising event, and in particular, the kindness of the 29 table captains and sponsors who brought their families and friends to learn more about the need for accessible, affordable and quality health care.
To see photos of the Spring Dinner, click here.