According to program coordinator Nancy Ridgley, Cox Monett Hospital's community wellness director, 2009 was the best fundraising year ever, bringing in more than $21,500 to support diabetes education and patient services at Cox Monett. This year exceeded the 2008 event by raising more than $5,900.
"The growth was overwhelming considering the economic conditions businesses and individuals face in southwest Missouri," Ridgley said.
Key factors to the success this year were the continued support from past sponsors and the addition of six new sponsors. Sponsors contribute by signing up for one of three levels of participation. This year, there were three financial levels for companies.
In addition to expanding the sponsor base, there was 85 percent growth in the silent and live auctions and a 6 percent increase in ticket sales. There were over 100 businesses and individuals who contributed to the auctions.
Ridgley reported there were so many compliments this year from attendees and sponsors that they hope to be able to continue growing the event in 2010.
Mardi Gras was chosen as the theme and attendees added to the flavor of the evening by dressing up in a wide variety of costumes depicting the annual New Orleans party. The armory was decorated in purple, green and yellow colors with an accompaniment of wall art and floating balloons.
Prior to dinner, rock n' roll music was provided by two local musicians. Mary Anne Andrews entertained on keyboard while Keith Garber played horn and string instruments. Their contribution enhanced the enthusiasm of the evening.
The dinner was provided by The Bayou Lunchbox, a local Monett restaurant that specializes in New Orleans style cuisine. The dinner, which started with a salad, was followed by a main course of baked chicken covered in hollandaise sauce, corn bread muffins and red beans and rice. Afterwards, the audience was treated to bread pudding and a low calorie peach cobbler.
To serve 350 meals required a team of celebrity servers to deliver the food, as it was dished up by the kitchen staff. Those who were privileged to be on the server team this year include Shane Anderson, Naty Apostol, Darren Bass, Donna Beckett, Pat Blamey, Susan Butterworth, David Compton, Greg and Brenda Davis, Bill East, Dr. Sarah Frye, Mike and Phyllis Garrett, Melanie Goulbourne, David and Lou Ellen Honeycutt, Bob Markovics, Rebecca Merriman, Missy Paszek, Jayne Phipps, Jason Rincker, Marty Scabarozi, Mary K. Scott, Kevin Sligar, Steve and Carol Stidham, Mary Stluka, Jeanne Swank, Robin Walker, Dr. Yvonne Agius, Leonard Witt and Mark and Lauren Holland.
|In the kitchen, Darren Indovino was the head chef and conductor of the other seven helpers needed to assemble the food plates. As the team worked non-stop, the server team rotated in one door empty handed and out the other door loaded with a tray of food to serve.||Indovino's kitchen helpers and other helpers were Joel Alexander, Lauren Alexander, Jesse Baedke, Cindy Curts, Betty Denson, Marci Early, Karon Hawkins, Chris O'Hara, Janell Patton, Dan and Lindsay Rice, Wayne and Sharon Ridenour, Chloe Ridgley, Larry and Carleen Shanks, Amy Throop and Jana Larmer.|
Occasionally, it was necessary to meet the needs of patrons who had special dietary needs. The servers and kitchen helpers were glad to coordinate this special need.
A beverage center near the entrance to the kitchen and caddy corner on the opposite side was provided by the Frisco Dining. Megan Wilson and Dusty Etter enjoyed using their college chemistry skills to help guests enjoy the evening.
Near the exit from the kitchen another beverage station serving tea and lemonade was available. Four-year veterans, Larry and Carleen Shanks, distributed these beverages with a smile and worked hard keeping ice in the glasses.
After dinner, the audience had a chance to digest their dinner by listening to a presentation by Jay Handy, Walnut Capital Management. Handy made a 30-minute presentation on diabetes with a video illustration.
Immediately following the presentation, the live auction started. This year's auctioneer was Robin Walker. Two well-known local chefs, Bob Purdom and Paul Trout, offered extensive chef packages to the highest bidders. In addition, several Branson vacation packages were offered. After the live auction was finished, the evening concluded by identifying the winners of the silent auction.
Money raised by the annual event will be distributed to local families who lack the financial resources to attend classes to learn about the disease. There is a direct relationship in the economic well being of a family and their chances of being affected by the disease.
According to Janell Patton, director of community relations and volunteer services for Cox Monett Hospital, bringing awareness to the disease is the first step in defeating diabetes. The disease has reached epidemic portions in the United States in most age groups.
"If the populous was better educated on the disease, we as a nation would stand a better chance of eradicating the disease," Patton stated.
Type 1 diabetes affects mostly those under the age of 30. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
|The main cause of a person developing type 2 diabetes is directly related to their weight. In 2008, 66 percent of the population in the United States was overweight. Thus, the expansion of diabetes is likely to continue getting worse in the future.||At the present time, 7.8 percent of the population has diabetes. This translates into 23.6 million people in the country.|
The keys to avoiding diabetes are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes a good balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and a diet low in sugar and fat. In addition, exercise is highly recommended along with the diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
|Ridgley said there is a simple formula to help people identify if they are overweight. Take your weight in pounds time 703. Next divide this number by your height in inches. Then divide this number by your height in inches again. If the result is under 25 you have a normal body mass index (BMI). Between 25 and 29.9 you are overweight. Over 30 you are classified as obese.||It is important to remember that BMI is not a direct measure of body fatness and that BMI is calculated from an individual's weight which includes both muscle and fat. A person may have a high BMI but not have a high percentage of body fat. For example, highly trained athletes may have a high BMI because of increased muscularity rather than increased body fatness.|
Questions or concerns about weight should be discussed with a personal healthcare provider.