21st Annual Valentine Gala Helps Boost Local Healthcare

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The Hillsboro Area Health Foundation continued its mission to boost healthcare in the community with one of its signature events–the 21st annual Valentine Gala–Saturday, Feb. 8, at The Event Center in Taylor Springs.

This year’s gala was themed “Casino Royale,” and in addition to the funds raised this year, gala-goers donated $30,000 to kick off the David A. Imler Youth Assessment Research Project to identify and treat causes of depression in local youth.

The project began when Dr. Ben Cady, family practitioner and member of the Hillsboro Area Hospital board, pointed out to fellow board members increasing rates of depression, sadness, and hopelessness in youth.  Under the direction of then board chairman David Imler who passed on Jan. 6, a steering committee was formed and has partnered with the SIU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Science to help define the problem and identify proven approaches to solutions.

Over the past 20 years, the gala has raised nearly $1.3 million to improve healthcare in the Hillsboro Area Hospital service area.  The gala features local waiters who sell tickets to tables, serve those tables during the event, and encourage their guests to participate in fundraising opportunities including a live auction, silent auction, and raffles. Kurt Aumann volunteered as auctioneer, a prime rib and chicken dinner was provided by Milanos Catering, and Fun DMC provided entertainment.

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