"We're pretty overwhelmed with patients," says Laura Tremper-Jones, executive director of Moore Free Care Clinic in Carthage. "The increase in our patient population means we need more medications and medical supplies and we spend more time monitoring our patient's health -- and that means finding new ways to stretch each dollar so we can help more people."
"Our community has pulled out all the stops when it comes to supporting its neighbors in need of health care," she adds.
Many of the clinic's patients are the working poor -- people at 100 percent of the federal poverty level who do not have access to health care insurance.
A Fundraiser and a "Friend-Raiser"
One of the ways the community has responded is with the creative fundraising event, "Dining In the Pines," a community-wide dinner with a centralized after-dinner party.
The 2nd annual Dining In the Pines fundraiser will be held on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 25, to benefit Moore Free Care Clinic and will attract nearly 500 guests for dinner at homes throughout Moore County, making it one of the county's largest and most successful fundraisers.
"We are having way too much fun planning this year's event," says Bobbi Erdman, chair of the event and Moore Free Care Clinic board member. "Last year's inaugural event was remarkable. We raised over $35,000, and all of it went to the clinic to pay for prescription medications for patients. This year we've expanded the evening to welcome more dinner hosts and their guests, and we have a terrific selection of items in our raffles and auction."
Dinner hosts contribute their time and the cost of the dinner party and invite guests to enjoy any type of meal. Guests make contributions to the clinic at the $35, $50 or $75 level with no limit on the donation accepted.
"Last year we had some hosts with 30 people serving an Italian meal, and other hosts with elegant candlelight dinners for 12 and one with a cookout -- so just about anything works," says Erdman. "We still have spaces available for interested hosts and guests, so we encourage anyone with an interest in sharing this great evening with their friends to get in touch with us soon."
Interested readers should contact either Kathy Lannon at 235-9232 or Ginger Lash at 215-0002.
Festivities continue after dinner at the Country Club of North Carolina. Hosts and their guests are welcomed for the evening's back-by-demand "afterglow" of fun, bar, delectable desserts, a unique raffle and live auction.
"Dining In the Pines" will auction off weeks at both a seaside and a mountain retreat, an off-shore fishing expedition, original art, and provide access to those hard-to-get Duke University basketball tickets.
Twelve uniquely themed collections of items are back-by-demand and include: restaurants, wine, golf, travel, cooking, gardening, grandparents and a mystery basket to add to the anticipation.
Interested buyers purchase raffle tickets for their favorite collections -- with estimated values of ranging from $300-$1,000. All money raised from the raffle, auction sales and dinners goes directly to the clinic.
"'Dining In the Pines' promises to be a great night of fun for a great cause," says Erdman. "There are so many that have had their lives changed because of the clinic's help, but we have so many more at the door."
Corporate sponsors as of press time include: FirstBank, BB&T, Prudential Gouger O'Neal Saunders Real Estate, Bill Reaves Construction, Toby Wells, Bill Smith, Southern Pines Women's Health Center, Steve Jones, Autowerks, Martha Gentry's Home Selling Team, Aberdeen Exterminating, Reaves Landscaping and Design, Colony Shade and Custom Closets, Pinehurst Insurance, Doctors Vision Center, J.B. Short Carpet One, Neighborhood Dry Cleaners, McDonald Brothers, Coldwell Bankers United Realty, U.S. Golf, and The Insurance Center.
For more information about Moore Free Care Clinic visit www.moorefreecare.org. To make a tax-deductible donation to the clinic, please mail it to: Moore Free Care Clinic, PO Box 161, Pinehurst, NC, 28370.
Claudia Watson is a Pinehurst freelance writer and member of the Moore Free Care Clinic board of directors. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.