21st Annual Black Tie Bingo Raises $259,000

There is something truly special about Black Tie Bingo, The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s premier fundraising event.

Most events have a 10-year life cycle before they need to be reinvented or replaced, but each and every year over its 21 years, Black Tie Bingo has experienced an ever increasing demand for tickets and continues to set new fundraising records.

As the 21st Annual Black Tie Bingo was wrapping up, Suzanne Bone, The Foundation’s CEO, had announced over Twitter that the event had raised $257,000, but after some more number crunching, Suzanne was pleased to announce a correction that the event raised just over of $259,000!

This year all 430 tickets “sold out” within days of the Save the Date announcement, before tickets were even printed and on sale, and at its peak, there were 70 people on the waiting list. In addition, there were close to 250 sponsors and prize donors, and almost 100 volunteers who contributed to the success of the event.

The Co-operators and Meridian Credit Union were back as Presenting Sponsors, and there were three Gold Sponsors – The Letter M Marketing, Kevin and Katie Malinski and John and Barb Wood. “We had a record year in sponsorship this year, which really helped us raise the amount that we did” said Bone.

By far, the most inspiring part of the night was when $84,500 was raised in just minutes during the live auction through bids towards the “Fund A Need” auction lot – setting yet another Black Tie Bingo record.

Another highlight was when Linda Craig, Senior Development Officer at the Foundation, was honoured for 15 years as the behind the scenes driver of Black Tie Bingo.  Suzanne Bone recognized Linda for her commitment to ensuring every detail is carefully thought through and executed with perfection, and for inspiring such a committed volunteer following. The crowd responded with a standing ovation.

All funds raised through this year’s event will allow Guelph General to replace one of its almost obsolete portable X-ray machines as well as replace 11 decade-old defibrillators/ monitors. But, because of their advanced technology they will do far more than replace their predecessors, they will improve patient care at our Hospital.

The new X-ray unit will allow superior image quality, not only for the diagnostic image, but also with Real-Time images that the technologist can use to ensure that the best image is taken the first time.

The new defibrillators/ monitors have many new features that drastically improve resuscitation success rates. The most significant improvement is that the machines provide immediate feedback on CPR ensuring it is performed optimally.

So what is it that draws people back year of year and continues to attract new interest in this event?

Doug MacMillan of The Letter M Marketing who has been donating creative services since 2006, believes that “it is because the event is in some way reinvented every year with a fresh and relevant theme.” It is also one of Guelph’s only black tie events.

Or maybe because it brings together our community for a very special and important purpose.

Over its 21 years, Black Tie Bingo has raised nearly $3 million for the Hospital, funding many vital pieces of patient care equipment, and ultimately helping to improve the quality of care that our Hospital is able to provide to its community.

About The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital

Patient care equipment is not covered by government funding within the province of Ontario.

Equipment as essential as IV pumps, surgical scopes and diagnostic scanners are available at Guelph General Hospital only because of generous financial gifts from within the community.

Since the Foundation’s inception almost 30 years ago, more than $49 million in donations has been raised for the Hospital.

Today, the Foundation raises approximately $2.5 million dollars each and every year and almost every dollar the Hospital spends on patient care equipment comes from these caring donations.