ProMedica ‘Classic’ expands focus to include heart, vascularWritten by John Rasche | | JRasche@toledofreepress.com
“The Classic,” ProMedica Toledo Hospital’s only annual fundraiser, has supported its Breast Care Center for the past two years, but this year’s event has a new focus: Heart and Vascular Institutes.
“We wanted to do a fundraising golf event back in 2009,” said Mary Sabin, executive director of the Toledo Hospital Foundation. “But we wanted the event to have a twist. We will have ‘celebrity’ golfers from the hospital this year competing in a wacky nine-hole putting contest.”
Every two years, ProMedica Toledo board members and event volunteers direct funds received from The Classic to a new branch of the hospital in order to meet the needs of the facility’s 11 clinical areas. Right now, the heart health of Lucas County is one of the most pressing medical issues.
“Heart and vascular health tends to stay in the background [of medical awareness],” Dr. James Bingle, president of ProMedica Heart and Vascular Institutes, said. “The truth is, we in Northwest Ohio have a troubling pool of people in high risk of heart disease. As such, we take it upon ourselves to educate the area.”
Heart disease and stroke accounted for 34 percent of Lucas County deaths from 2006-08, according to the 2011 Lucas County, Ohio Health Assessment Project commissioned by Healthy Lucas County for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio. The report also stated that approximately 34 percent of Lucas County adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, 27 percent with high blood cholesterol and 35 percent were obese — three known risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
In 2011, 24 percent of Lucas County adults were reported as being current smokers — a rate that exceeds the smoking rate the United States. The American Cancer Society stated last year that tobacco use was the most preventable cause of disease and early death, but still accounts for approximately 5.4 million deaths each year.
“Those staggering statistics are why we are redirecting the fundraiser to the Heart and Vascular Institutes,” Sabin said. “This way, we can inform and help the members of the community take care of their hearts.”
ProMedica board members believe that despite the redirection of funds to the Heart and Vascular Institutes, The Classic’s success of the past two years will continue to grow.
The Classic raised nearly $200,000 for Breast Care Center during the course of two years. ProMedica was able to use that money to purchase a new ultrasound machine and a collection of blanket warmers for the clinic. The Breast Care Center’s stereotactic breast table also received a MultiCare Maximum Comfort Kit, which is a foam unit designed to enhance patient comfort during procedures.
“We’ve had extraordinary support from our community,” Sabin said. “About 50 to 60 sponsors, a mix of both corporations and individuals, are already involved for this year’s event. I expect us to make $200,000 this year alone.”
The money raised at the event will help the Heart and Vascular Institutes open new programs, increase research and raise further awareness through education. The clinic, created only a year ago, specializes in cardiology and both cardiac and vascular surgery.
“We are extremely happy to be the receiver of this event’s fundraising,” Bingle said. “The money will truly raise the quality of our care. Up-to-date research and education keeps everyone attentive to new solutions.”
The Classic event will include a dinner and a putting competition. Live entertainment and a reception area will be available for guests who are not competing. The top golfers on the leader board will have the chance to win multiple prizes, including two tickets to the 2013 Masters golf tournament practice round or the opportunity to “design a golf course” with Arthur Hills, a renowned course designer.
A live auction will also be held with several items up for grabs, such as a pair of Detroit Red Wings tickets and a week-long stay at a condo in Fort Myers, Fla.
Guests can also participate in the “Raise the Paddle” auction, where individuals can bid on various healthcare packages that will be donated to patients in need. The funds raised will go to help underinsured or uninsured patients pay for their prescription medicine and transportation to the hospital.
“Raise the Paddle” raised almost $20,000 last year and the money was used to fund mammograms for patients unable to afford them. Those funds helped 50 women receive mammograms who would have otherwise gone without the screenings, said ProMedica Toledo spokesperson Tedra White.
Businesses looking for another way to donate can register to be sponsors for The Classic. Sponsorship packets can be downloaded from ProMedica.org.
The third annual event will take place at the Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg on May 30. Businesses and individuals who are interested in being a sponsor for the event or placing a donation can contact Sabin at (419) 291-7473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.