Black Tie Bingo in support of Guelph General Hospital raises a record $300,000 in its 24th year.

The 24th annual Black Tie Bingo, presented by The Co-operators and Meridian Credit Union, took place this past Saturday night at its new location, The Grand Guelph Banquet & Events Centre.

A record was set with the event raising $300,000 net of expenses, exactly the amount needed to fund thirty additional Medication Safety Carts, completing the Hospital’s most significant medication safety initiative. Twenty carts were previously funded through the Foundation’s seasonal mail and online giving campaign.

Melissa Skinner, Guelph General Hospital’s Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive explains “Nearly every patient at Guelph General Hospital will require a prescription. In fact, more than 800 prescriptions are processed each and every day at GGH, so for our nurses, administering medication is a big part of their job and it carries a lot of responsibility.” She adds, “Guelph General is already one of the safest hospitals in Canada, but we don’t want to stop there. We know it’s very important to our patients, their families, and it’s very important to the staff that they are able to provide the safest and highest quality care. These new carts will impact each and every patient that comes into our hospital.”

The event sold out in record time last November to 460 new and returning guests. Their generous participation contributed greatly towards this year’s fundraising success. Many sponsors contributed nearly $100,000 in sponsorship revenue and 150 businesses and individuals donated prizes to the live and silent auction, generating $85,000 of fundraising revenue on the night of the event.

This year, many businesses also contributed close to $50,000 of in-kind service which helped minimize the Foundation’s expenses and maximize the fundraising revenue that can go directly to purchasing the carts. Dozens of volunteers contributed their time on the BTB planning committee, in the Foundation office to coordinate the details leading up to the event, and on the night of the event.

“At the Foundation, we say that we save lives and improve health, together with our community. This is embodied through Black Tie Bingo. It’s truly heartwarming how this event brings together so many caring members of our community for the benefit of everyone in our community,” said Elizabeth Stewart, Foundation staff lead for Black Tie Bingo.

Another record-breaking achievement this year was the amount raised through Fund-a-Need, where guests bid donations as part of the live auction. $91,840 was pledged by 87 guests, including four $10,000 gifts.

“It is such a thrill to watch the magic of Black Tie Bingo unfold. Seeing our community come together to fund these vital medication safety carts…it’s magic. I’m so grateful to the hundreds of individuals and businesses who made it happen” said Suzanne Bone, the Foundation’s CEO.

Every year, Black Tie Bingo is reinvented through a new theme. This year’s theme was Le Cirque and once again it was beautifully executed through in-kind creative marketing services by The Letter M Marketing. The new location also offered greater flexibility in the level of décor and entertainment that organizers were able to incorporate. A highlight for all were the ‘strolling tables’ serving appetizers and the signature cocktail as well as multiple performances throughout the evening by Guelph’s local Youth Circus Project.

The Foundation is grateful to all those who participated so generously in this year’s Black Tie Bingo. In the event’s 24-year history, it has raised over $3.5 million in net fundraising revenue. Every dollar has helped fund equipment used in the direct care of patients, from every day essential items like IV pumps and hospital beds, to innovative technology solutions that improve patient care including this year’s Medication Safety Carts. Black Tie Bingo sells out every year.

Those interested in tickets to next year’s Black Tie Bingo are advised to join the Foundation’s email distribution list.