SVMC Summer Gala Raises $1.5M for New Cancer Center

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Summer Gala—Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) Foundation's signature fundraising event and the region's premier philanthropic occasion—netted a record-breaking $1.5 million on June 8 at the 1768 Hubbell Homestead at Colgate Park in Bennington.
The event, which hosted nearly 400 people, broke all previous fundraising records in support of building a new regional cancer center at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC).
"The tremendous generosity we received this year is a testament to the exceptional cancer care SVMC's team provides and the importance of having a facility that matches their level of excellence and expertise," said SVMC's Vice President of Corporate Development Leslie Keefe. "Our Summer Gala Committees, guests, sponsors and employees sent a powerful message with their contributions. The matching dollars committed by Honorary Gala Committee Co-Chair Susan Hunter and her husband, Doug Watson and SVMC's Board of Trustees brought this cause to the next level, making it a monumental night for our organization and the communities we serve."
The plans for the new Hoyt-Hunter Cancer Center at SVMC is part of Vision 2020, A Decade of Transformation. The capital campaign previously raised $25 million for major renovation projects at the hospital, including the nearly completed renovation of the hospital's Emergency Department and main entrance. With plans to break ground on the new cancer center by spring 2025, the building will double the number of infusion and exam rooms. The state-of-the-art facility will also enhance the center's affiliation with Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only three National Cancer Institute-Designated comprehensive cancer centers in New England.
The Summer Gala celebration included the presentation of the Vision Award for Health Care Leadership to Eric Seyferth, MD and the Sean L. Casey Distinguished Community Service Award to Constance "Consie" West.
"Dr. Seyferth and Consie West represent the very best of our community," said Keefe. "Both of them, in their respective areas and vocations, have demonstrated great leadership, selflessness and a tireless commitment to improving the lives of others. They were the perfect honorees for such a notable evening."
The event was organized with the help of a group of volunteer Gala Committee members, including Chair, Monique Geannelis, and members Rachel Caswell, Caroline Maran Ivanov, Vicki Jerome, Carol Patterson, Janet Thibodeau and Debra Wilkin. The Honorary Summer Gala Committee members, whose generous contributions to the Putnam Challenge and live auction contributed to the success of the event, included Co-Chairs, Susie Hunter and Doug Watson, along with Bill Hoyt and Tony Hoyt and members Donna and Gordon Calder, Marianne Chaikin, Susan and Lael Kellet, Juliette and Stallworth Larson, Norene Peck, Sallyan and Steve Pelletier, Jane Told and Debbie and Bill Wight.
"An event of this scale can't happen without a great team of staff and volunteers," said Keefe. "We're grateful to our Gala Committee and Honorary Gala Committee members for helping to make this a truly spectacular event in the region."
Guests also enjoyed a cocktail hour; a raffle including a nearly $10,000 first prize; live auction of items including unique experiences and international and luxury travel; exceptional dinner; and dancing to Rick Express.
The Summer Gala's Event Sponsor this year was M/E Engineering, followed by Title Sponsors Mack Molding Co. and Old Mill Road Media.
Presenting sponsors included 1768 Hubbell Homestead, Alfred Weissman Real Estate, Allaire Health Services, Coggins Auto Group, Pamela Duchene, PhD, APRN and Rev. Thomas Quattrociocchi, Kathy Fisher and Rocco Maggiotto, Roby Harrington III, John and Deborah Larkin, Sallyan and Stephen Pelletier, and Salem Dentistry. The evening's Lead Sponsors included: AOW Construction, Davin Healthcare, Tom and Rita Dee, Hayden Plumbing & Heating, Lavallee Brensinger Architects, Wilmington Trust, a division of M&T Bank, Radiology Associates of Bennington, and TRANE. Supporting Sponsors included Consolidated Communications, Jonathan M. Cohen, Attorney at Law, Donna and Gordon Calder, The Gift Garden, Thomas Green and Kristen Johanson, Skanska Consulting & Program Management, and Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Host Sponsors included Thomas and Maria Ascher, The Bank of Bennington, Cardinal Land Properties, Carol Conroy, DNP and Dr. Anders Rhodin, William Hoyt, Anthony Hoyt, David Meiselman and Myra Packman, Mt. Anthony Country Club, Norene Peck, Allison and Scott Rogge, and Yura Stoly, MD, PM&R. Community Business Partners included Bennington Express Lube & Car Wash, Jason P. Morrissey, Attorney at Law, Mount Anthony Country Club, Shea Family Funeral Home, Tyler Electric Security and Wassick Tire Service.
"We are deeply grateful for the Summer Gala sponsors and their extraordinary commitment to our mission of providing exceptional care and comfort to those we serve," said Keefe.

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