UW News

April 3, 2008

Harborview Gala sets record for Mission of Caring Fund

By Elizabeth Robichaud
UW Medicine Development

The 2008 UW Medicine Salute Harborview Gala, held March 1 at the Sheraton Seattle, grossed more than $2 million — a first in the 16-year history of the event. More than 980 seats were sold. Net revenue set a record as well, more than doubling to over $1.8 million.

Community chairs for the event, which benefits charity care programs at Harborview Medical Center, were Susan and Furman Moseley and Martha and Colin Moseley. The Moseleys are long-time supporters of the UW and its programs, including UW Medicine, UW Medical Center, the College of Forest Resources, the Henry Art Gallery ,and the UW Foundation. The connection with Harborview is a more recent development. Like others in our community, the Moseleys never expected their connection to the hospital to become such a personal one. But after an accident two years ago, Susan came through the emergency-room doors as a patient. The care she received there reinforced the family’s commitment to keeping Harborview alive and strong.

The event featured a live auction. Eleven items were offered for bid, including a 2008 Camry hybrid from Toyota of Seattle, which was won by DR. Richard Ellenbogen, professor and chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery. Another highlight of the evening was the “raise your paddle” segment, in which the auctioneer invited those in attendance to make an outright gift or pledge in support of charity care at Harborview. This year’s segment was especially dramatic because it was fueled by a $500,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor. By the end of the evening, the “raise your paddle” had brought in $1.2 million.

The evening also featured a video about Joel Spiegel, a retired Seattle-area executive who was treated at Harborview in 2006 for a necrotizing fasciitis, a potentially life-threatening soft-tissue infection. Spiegel addressed the crowd following the video, crediting Harborview with not only saving his life, but also helping him resume many of his former activities, including hiking and bicycling.

Entertainment was provided by Harborview friends The Frustrations, a popular local band that donated its performance.

Johnese Spisso, interim executive director of Harborview Medical Center and UW Medicine’s vice president for medical affairs and clinical operations officer, said “This was an incredible and wonderful evening for Harborview Medical Center.  The money raised here tonight will go a long way in helping us serve our mission population.  The generosity and support from so many people in our community was amazing. The success of this event will make it possible for Harborview to continue to serve our mission and patients who need our lifesaving care the most.”

Event proceeds benefit Harborview’s Mission of Caring Fund, which supports programs that provide millions of dollars in charity care, much of it to children and the working poor. Although more than 35 percent of Harborview’s revenue comes from privately insured patients, last year Harborview provided more than $112 million in charity care, by far the most in the state.