Just think about having a dinner party for 600 of your best friends. Well that's what an enthusiastic and dedicated group of 18 women did to help ensure that the uninsured and low-income residents of Moore County have the opportunity to receive health care at the Moore Free Care Clinic.
Dining In the Pines, the free clinic's annual fundraiser, tallied $57,000 for the clinic and brought smiles to those in attendance.
"We are ecstatic with the outcome," says Bobbi Erdman, chairperson of the event. "The evening came together and thanks to the generosity of our hosts, guests, sponsors, the Country Club of North Carolina (CCNC) and our hard-working committee members -- it was a tremendous success for the clinic."
According to H. David Bruton, M.D., chairman of the clinic's board of directors, the money raised will be used by the free clinic to provide health care for uninsured, low-income patients in Moore County.
"There's an increasing need in our community," he says. "We are dependent upon the kindness of the community to plan for the care of so many. The free clinic leverages the donation of $57,000 to nearly four times that value -- so it goes a long way to help take care of our patients this year."
This was the second year for Dining In the Pines, an evening that begins with private dinner parties hosted throughout Moore County.
Guests offer a donation to the clinic to attend the evening's festivities, which include the dinner and the popular "afterglow," which is held at CCNC and includes scrumptious desserts, a cash bar, themed raffles and a live auction.
"It really combines the best part of so many fundraising events," comments Pinewild hostess Marti Derleth. She attended the event last year as a guest and wanted to take a more active role as a hostess this year. The Derleths and another couple hosted a dinner party for three other couples.
"We felt it was important to expand the awareness of the clinic's mission and needs outside of our own neighborhood, so we invited friends that live in other communities," she says. "It was a very pleasurable evening. It offered the intimacy of a private dinner party with the splash of a large gala at the end."
Annual Fund Campaign Goal Set
Moore Free Care Clinic also used the event to kick off its third annual fund campaign, setting this year's goal of $350,000. Donations to Dining In the Pines, which are counted toward the campaign total, give the campaign a healthy start.
According to Laura Tremper-Jones, the clinic's executive director, the clinic has provided care to 1,150 patients since it opened on April 29, 2004.
During the past year care has been provided by the clinic's staff and a volunteer cadre consisting of 47 physicians, 10 dentists, 48 nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and 120 lay volunteers. They contribute their time, skills and expertise to care for those who so desperately need help. Bruton Honored During the evening Moore Free Care Clinic also recognized Bruton, who is one of the co-founders of the clinic, for his active leadership, dedication and countless hours of volunteer service to the mission of the clinic.
"David's been part of this clinic since day one and has been instrumental in setting the course for its success," says Tremper-Jones. "There are far too many nights when he's been the one I've called to take care of our patients. His compassion for people runs so deep -- it's just who he is and why he's been so important to us. He is a great physician, leader and a dear friend."
Moore Free Care Clinic provides high-quality primary, preventive and specialty care to limited income people living in Moore County who are uninsured and can't afford access to health care.
Contributions to the clinic come primarily from the Moore County community, including individuals, and pledges from the medical community, such FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, Pinehurst Medical Clinic and other partners, including the Moore County Community Foundation, local civic clubs and businesses.
The clinic does not receive any federal, state or local funding. Moore County provides office space to the clinic at the Moore County Health Department for a lease of $1 per year.
For more information, call 910-947-6550 or visit its Web site www.MooreFreeCare.org. Contributions to the clinic may be mailed to Moore Free Care Clinic, P.O. 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.