It will forever be remembered as a landmark evening in the history of Kelowna General Hospital. This past Saturday, Sept. 8, 220 guests at the KGH Foundation’s Heart of Gold Gala together raised more than $1.3 million in support of JoeAnna’s House.
The Heart of Gold Gala, hosted by the KGH Foundation every two years, has become known as the region’s most spectacular fundraising event to benefit KGH. The total amount raised exceeded all expectations, surpassing 2016’s total by nearly $300,000.
“Honestly, we are beyond thrilled,” said an emotional Sasha Carter, the KGH Foundation’s director of legacy giving and this year’s master of ceremonies. “The feeling can only be described as humbling. The generosity shown this evening is deeply moving. I’m really proud to be a part of this community.”
The event was held on the corner of Royal Avenue and Abbott Street, the future home of JoeAnna’s House. The existing parking lot was transformed into a beautiful façade of the home away from home that JoeAnna’s House promises to be for thousands of families that must travel with their loved ones to KGH for specialized medical care.
The KGH Foundation announced its plans to build and operate JoeAnna’s House nearly one year ago in October 2017. Since then, the community has stepped up with unprecedented gusto to support the project.
The cause hits close to home for many, including honorary event chairs, Joe Huber and Hilde Schneider, children of the late Josef and Anna Huber, for whom JoeAnna’s House is named. Huber spoke not only as a son wishing to carry out his parents’ legacy, but also as a father who knows first-hand the hardship of having a sick child. “We know the feeling of being vulnerable, when the people you love most in the world are in the hands of someone else,” Huber shared.