Although Scotland Memorial Foundation’s Putting on the Ritz is billed as “A Gala of Giving,” the event’s organizers hope to send many attendees home with something to show for their evening.
All proceeds from the Ritz’s silent and live auctions are directed to Scotland Memorial Foundation’s outreach programs, contributing substantially to the total funds raised at the event.
“The auction is a significant part of the Ritz,” said auction chair Elizabeth Cooley. “Last year, the silent and live auctions combined raised close to a third of our net revenue.”
This year’s Ritz will be held on the evening of Nov. 3 on the Scotland Memorial Hospital campus. Monies raised will fund free mammograms and other health screenings for low-income individuals, as well as community health education programs.
“The Ritz really represents everyone in this community coming together,” said Benjamin Farrell, Ritz auctioneer. “This is the greatest representation of this entire region coming together so that they can provide services for people who can’t get them. If this doesn’t happen, the services don’t happen.”
Items are donated from local businesses and nationwide enterprises, from rocking chairs donated by Coughenour Furniture to Disneyland passes. Many handcrafted items and art works will be on offer, as will a variety of vacation trips and a year’s supply of wine.
“We have a terrific committee this year; everyone has worked so hard and so far we’ve procured over 100 items,” said Kirsten Dean, Scotland Memorial Foundation executive director.
The silent auction is held over several hours at the beginning of the evening, giving patrons time to peruse the offerings and enter as many bids as they wish. The live auction, which last year offered about 20 items, will follow dinner and precede dancing to a live performance by the Craig Woolard Band.
Farrell, who also called the live auction at last year’s Ritz, said the Ritz’s 19 years as a successful fundraiser are due to the commitment of the Scotland Memorial Foundation to providing health services to all community members.
“It only takes one or two times meeting someone who has benefited from a service like this to get extremely motivated,” said Farrell. “It’s why they work so hard for so long and why people say yes when they ask: it really makes a huge difference.”