RIVER FALLS, Wis.
About 200 people attended the 2015 Fall Fling, which raises funds for the River Falls Area Hospital Foundation.
The 10th annual fall fundraiser for the River Falls Area Hospital Foundation was a success.
More than $60,000 was raised through ticket sales, live and silent auctions and raffles at the Fall Fling 2015, held October 9 at the Mystical Rose Gardens in Baldwin.
Tributes to their River Falls Area Hospital patient experiences were paid by Dick Rinehart, the founder of Dick's Fresh Market, who appeared in the event's feature video, and Jack Hines, Ellsworth auctioneer, who led the live auction.
The most successful item in the live auction was a metalwork Bucky the Badger (mascot of UW-Madison), donated by artist Jane Smith and family of Smith Brothers Landing in Pepin, Wisconsin, which fetched $1,050. A rival bidder was so keen to have their own work of art that the artist agreed to make a second Bucky for a donation to the Foundation of $1,000.
"Each year we are overwhelmed by the support at this event – and this year was no exception," said Heather Logelin, director of foundation at River Falls Area Hospital. "Having patients, family members, staff, physicians, volunteers, business leaders and other supporters all together in one space really drives home the fact that we are a community hospital and that we are all working together to improve health."
The Fall Fling was also an opportunity to pay tribute to Jane Peterson, the chief nursing officer/director of patient care services at River Falls Area Hospital for the past 17 years. She plans to retire at the end of the year and her successor, Jennifer Loesch – currently director of quality at the hospital – took the opportunity to thank Peterson for her service to the River Falls community.
"Jane's commitment to the employees at River Falls has been steadfast and her advocacy for patients and their families unwavering," said Loesch. "She has continued to help steer the organization forward and has led the development and expansion of services and programs we could offer to our community, such as our cancer center."
Guests enjoyed the musical talent of Minneapolis-based a capella group, Six Appeal, as well as cheese and wine tasting provided by UW-RF Falcon Foods and Dick's Hometown Liquor, respectively, and a three-course meal catered by River Valley Catering.
Next year's Fall Fling is set for October 14, 2016.