The PeaceHealth Southwest Foundation raised more than half a million dollars in a show of community support for the Vancouver hospital.
The fundraising campaign, The Beat Goes On – HeArts of Clark County, raised $522,800 to build a new surgical theater at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center's Heart and Vascular Center. The money was raised through ticket sales for a Sept. 21 gala, business sponsorships, donations and the auction of 30 fiberglass hearts — or HeArts, as they're called — that were on display throughout Vancouver.
The campaign exceeded the foundation's $500,000 goal.
"It was a heartwarming event and exciting to see the community come together to generously support furthered excellence in heart and vascular care," said Connie Kearney, the campaign chairwoman.
Each of the 30 fiberglass HeArts featured the work of local artists. The statues — which are 6 feet tall, 3 feet wide, about 16 inches thick and weigh 200 pounds — were placed around downtown Vancouver and other areas across the city in early August. They spent about six weeks on display before being moved to PeaceHealth's Shared Services Center in east Vancouver for the gala.
Community members expressed appreciation for the temporary public art and raved about the number of talented artists in the area, Kearney said. Most had a hard time picking one favorite, she said.
During the gala, each of the HeArts was auctioned. Bids started at $3,000. A statue by artist Anne John, who also was a project organizer, sold for $7,500 — the highest bid of the night. The piece, titled "Rites of Spring," featured a twig bird's nest filled with eggs.
The money raised through the HeArts campaign will be used to build and equip a new surgical theater at the hospital.
The surgical suite will accommodate both minimally invasive procedures, such as placing stents in the heart, and major surgical procedures, such as open-heart surgery. Currently, those procedures are performed in two different rooms, requiring a patient to be moved or medical staff to crowd into a small space.