Clinic/Patient: 239.529.2255 Development Office: 239.261.6600

88 12th Street North Suite 100, Naples, FL 34102

9th Annual Block Party: The Party with a Purpose – To Save Lives

By Chuck Curry

As the fading rays of the sun washed over the day’s final foursomes on the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s course, guests of the Neighborhood Health Clinic’s 2012 Block Party fundraiser began arriving for an evening designated to saving lives.

By the time 330 guests had departed later that evening, the Clinic had raised $400,000 that will help the community’s working but uninsured residents receive needed quality health care. It was another successful Block Party for the Neighborhood Health Clinic, which was founded in 1999 by Dr. William and Nancy Lascheid.

“AGAIN, the Party with a Purpose – to Save Lives will enable the Neighborhood Health Clinic to save even more lives,” according to John McDonough, Board Chair.

The experience of the evening was planned by Kelly Richardson, volunteer Block Party committee chair and her team including Donna McClymont, Jennifer Rosenthal, Cris Ryker and Michelle Stetson.

Before the guests began their dinner in the River of Grass Ballroom, they enjoyed conversation, cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres in a mixer that stretched through the Beach Club’s golf-side complex.

Once inside the ballroom the crowd was treated to music performed by Cahlua and Cream. The duo did a variety of different musical styles and had the guests dancing the night away.

After dinner, which featured filet mignon with peppercorn demi-glace followed by a white and dark chocolate mousse, the fun continued with a live auction and “Save-a-Life” campaign emceed by auctioneer Mark Schenfeld.

A framed photograph showing the earth rising over a vista from the moon, autographed by former NASA astronaut Capt. Jim Lovell was the first auction item.  Lovell was a guest at the Block Party two years ago and has made donations of space memorabilia for the Clinic’s benefit in the past. Lovell became a household name for his space exploits, which were featured in the movie “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks. The photograph generated $2,250 for the Clinic.

Another item auctioned was a gift basket organized and donated by “The Guild,” a recently founded group of women dedicated to helping the Clinic by being community ambassadors to “raise friends and funds” for the Clinic and its patients.

There were 12 items in the basket including special wines, a blue topaz and diamond ring, beaded necklace, a “girlfriend party” for 19 at Nordstrom’s, a ruffled cashmere wrap from Brigadoon, and restaurant gift certificates to Sea Salt and the Capital Grille, just to name a few. The basket generated $5,000 at auction.

A $12,000 winning bid from Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Rose purchased a candlelight dinner with co-founders Dr. William and Nancy Lascheid and the Medical Director Dr. Robert Tober and his wife Gail.  Shep Tober will be a special guest for the dinner.  It was heartening to experience the generosity the Clinic evokes from Neapolitans.

“We think the Clinic is a wonderful thing to have in our community and we are honored to be able to do our part in helping to save lives,” commented Kelly and Karen Rose.

After the live auction, guests viewed a video that featured four Clinic patients, Irving, Linda, Luis and Rita.  Then the patients, who were guests at the event, had an opportunity to express their gratitude to the audience.

Next it was time to save lives!  The group saw 10 hands go up, each with a donation of $10,000.  In addition to the top donors of $10,000 each, there were 11 donors of $5,000 each, 10 donors at $2,500 each, 21 donors at $1,000 each, and on down to $500, $250 and $100.

In the end, the biggest winners are the working but uninsured residents across Collier County who are able to receive quality health care services at the Clinic.  This is only possible because of the generosity of those in our community who support the Clinic’s mission and know their donation is put to good use with92% of operating expenses going directly towards direct patient care.

Photos courtesy of Melinda Nagy Photography, Chuck Curry and Alan Ryker