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NMC auxiliary to hold annual spring gala

COVINGTON - Newton Medical Center Auxiliary is putting the finishing touches on its gala scheduled for this weekend.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the Auxiliary will hold its annual spring gala at Shanglebranch, which is the home of Linda and Reginald McFarland, located at 402 Ga. Highway 229 in Social Circle.

"It's elegant and fun," said Val Hampton, Auxiliary board member and gala chairman.

This year's event includes an evening of touring, dining, dancing and auctions with an English garden theme. Black tie is optional.

"We have some really wonderful items for auction including a trip to Colorado," Hampton said. "We also have smaller items like the Odyssey Putter for the avid golfer or the spa package for that lady who likes to be pampered."

Although the Auxiliary holds several fundraisers throughout the year, including a golf tournament and barbecue at Stalvey's in May, the gala is the largest fundraiser of the year.

Tickets start at $90 for an individual ticket and go up to $5,000 for a premier sponsor spot. They can be purchased by calling the Auxiliary at 770-788-6553 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday.

"It's a great way to have a good time and help a good cause," said Sharon Barbour, director of publicity and advertising at NMC and an auxiliary board member.

Funds raised through the gala will go to support the Auxiliary's current fundraiser for equipment in the hospital's new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

"Approximately 10 percent of newborns need extra specialized care," Barbour said.

She said this includes premature babies and babies who are born with certain problems.

"They need specialized, state-of-the-art equipment to take care of them," she said. "Now (the hospital) will be equipped to take care of those babies."

The goal for the current fundraiser is $350,000. Barbour said this could take a couple of years to raise, but the Auxiliary hopes it won't take so long, as it reached its last fund-raising goal of $500,000 for digital mammography equipment in the Women's Diagnostic Center a little earlier than expected.

So far, the auxiliary has sold nearly 300 tickets for the gala, but they hope to sell at least 350 or even more to keep in line with previous years.

"We're definitely thankful for the support of the community," Hampton said. "We'd like everybody to know that anyone is welcome."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Newton Medical Center Auxiliary's Annual Spring Gala

· When: 6 p.m. Saturday

· Where: Shanglebranch/Linda and Reginald McFarland's home, 402 Ga. Highway 229 in Social Circle

· Tickets: $90-$5,000 by calling 770-788-6553 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday