The 2017 Urban Cocktail Party, the annual gala for Phillips Eye Institute Foundation, raised more than $158,200 to
enhance care for our patients and improve access to vision care in the
We are grateful to our generous sponsors, dedicated volunteers and all those who attended.
One of the highlights of the evening was this video tribute to Peter Heegaard, who was honored for his years of service as a Phillips Eye Institute Foundation board member and his contributions as community leader and philanthropist.
If you missed the party, you can still contribute to our efforts to change lives through better vision care.
Donate today to
Phillips Eye Institute Foundation.
[MUSIC PLAYING] I don't know where I first met Peter Heegaard. Because anybody who does anything in town knows Peter. Well, Peter Heegaard is a pretty exceptional human being, and a very giving one. From his time in business, where he connected business leaders together in a profound way, or mentored many people in business, to his leadership in our organization. At board meetings he's always very positive. He always tries to address everyone's individual needs. Just seems to be-- have an excellent leadership role with the organization. Just spending time around Peter you understand his interest in helping the community. He certainly is all about relationships. And he's just generally very curious about connecting people and getting the right players together to get the job done. I went to Peter's office and met these two elderly gentleman who were very, very good trust clients. And I asked them what it was like to do business with the bank. And they said, well, we really enjoy the relationship with the bank, but the most important aspect of our relationship with the bank is Peter Heegaard. I think a person's actions says it all. Too many of us executives do that by simply ordering our philanthropic arms to make contributions, or to do this or do that. But Peter went out and did it himself. Well, his fingerprints are all over everything. I mean, they really are. I'd be hard pressed to list all the places that he has possibly impacted this community, and the community of the state, even the nation. He has a fertile mind. So he always has ideas of different things that should be happening. He's always committed. He and Anne are always committed to some kind of doing good. Peter's smart and committed, but it isn't not enough just to give money. He really understands the importance of the issues and feels, I think, an alliance with the organizations that are trying to promote what he believes in. He's sort of behind the scenes unsung hero of a major aspect of early childhood education. But that has always been a common theme, I think, is having an impact on the youth of this community. Particularly the youth in the inner city and making sure that they have all the chances that many of us have had. I would say that if the only thing he had done was to make sure every single kid had screening for their eyes that would be a huge thing. But that's not the only thing, by any stretch. I think the most important part of the body of his work is there is a body of work. [MUSIC PLAYING] Peter have done more while saying less about himself than anyone I've ever known. The fact that I saw in him the passion, and the care, and well beyond what I ever expected in a volunteer. Well, he does have a very high emotional IQ. And he's just a naturally curious individual. And he never wanted to take credit for hardly anything. I would also say that he has a secret weapon, and her name is Anne. [MUSIC PLAYING] He's particular, he's decisive, and he is a champion. Open, energetic, and smart. Absolute integrity. He's pompous, he's arrogant, and is egocentric. You have to look those up. And if you think and find the right word for the opposite of all those things, that's Peter Heegaard. I think he has a playful side that not everyone sees all the time, but comes out in meetings occasionally and in private meetings for sure. I think he loves life. He loves his family. And he loves everything about living, and he lives it to the fullest. He's funny. He's witty. He's a great storyteller. I'm sure if you ask him he'll recite a Limerick or two, and they're pretty good. I think the simplest way to describe him is a very simple word, and it's hero. I want to be Peter Heegaard when I grow up. He's just a great guy. And, I mean, it's the truth. [MUSIC PLAYING] I want to thank you, Peter, Peter Heegaard, for the leadership you've shown in the community throughout your whole life, let alone the incredible impact you've made with the Phillips Institute and all the lives it touches and will continue to touch. Thank you, Peter. Thank you so much for everything you brought to not only me and my leadership while I was the foundation executive director, but also what you brought to the children and the patients at Phillips Eye Institute. Thank you for the years that you've spent helping us develop the EYE program, and seeing it through to a place where we now reach so many kids in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Peter, very sorry I couldn't be there tonight. I would have loved to be there with you, to congratulate you and celebrate all you've done. Thanks for being you, and we've benefited so much in the Twin Cities from your leadership. Thank you for allowing us to be us, allowing us to do as you've done, which is follow our own passions. You are a good man. You have run the race beautifully, bravely, kindly, successfully, with Anne carrying you on her back. Well done. Thank you Mr. Heegaard. Muchas gracias, Senior Heegaard. Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. God Thank you, Mr. Heegaard. [MUSIC PLAYING]