Local News

The Temptations featured act at Florida Hospital gala

—They’re one of the most venerable music groups in the history of modern pop and soul music and they’ll be in Sebring to help tempt people into supporting the foundation of Florida Hospital.

At the media sponsor kick-off Thursday, Florida Hospital Heartland Foundation staff announced The Temptations would be bringing their soul and Motown sounds to Sebring for the 20th annual gala at 8 p.m. Nov. 13 at the South Florida State College gymnasium.

The gala begins with a social hour and silent auction at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

The foundation is a not-for-profit group representing Florida Hospitals in Sebring, Lake Placid and Wauchula, to help with fundraising efforts.

Beginning its second decade, the foundation’s gala brings together hospitals’ staff, communities from Highlands and Hardee counties and local organizations and governmental entities to raise funds for improvements, additions and technological changes at the hospitals’ campuses.

Led by Christen Johnson, foundation development coordinator, the panel was made up of gala organizers Jamie Bateman, foundation executive director; Kim Heintz, gift chair; Jean Lund, silent auction chairwoman; and Mike Rouse, gala co-chairman.

During the 40-minute conference, Johnson put together a conference phone call interview with Otis Williams, founder of The Temptations.

Johnson, in her third year as development coordinator, said she thinks people like to contribute to the gala because they “know where their money goes to in the community.”

“They see how their sponsorship has benefitted the communities in the past,” she said. “They believe in our mission to provide excellent care to our patients and the gala is a reflection of the great partnership with our community groups and businesses.”

In 2013, about $202,475 was raised through the gala. Over the past year, with sponsorship such as South Florida State College, funds have helped pay to develop resources for the pediatric unit at Florida Hospital Heartland, Sebring; the Fitness Center renovation; Lake Placid and hospital renovations; and updates and remodeling in Wauchula.

“All the money that is raised from the gala is invested right back into our community, which enables us to continue to meet the community’s needs in healthcare,” Johnson said.

Last year, the silent auction generated about $15,000 to redo the pediatric unit in Sebring and $200,000 raised helped buy a new mammography unit at Florida Hospital Wauchula, where since October, 244 mammograms have been done. Besides the gala dinner and concert, on Nov. 14 there will be the “20th Annual Gala Golf Tournament,” with a 7:30 a.m. registration and shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. at the Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club. Golfers will play both courses, Turtle Run and Deer Run. Cost for the golf tournament is $500 for a team of four.

On Nov. 16, a Gala Bill Jarret Ford 5K Run/Walk and 10K run will be held behind the emergency department at Florida Hospital Sebring. Registration is at 6:30 a.m., with a start at 7:30 a.m.

Free long-sleeved day-fit shirts will be given out to the first 400 runners. Pre-registration is $20, and it’s $30 the day of race, with children under 6 free.

But the music is one of the biggest draws, said Johnson. Over the years, performers the event has drawn include the Charlie Daniels Band, Olivia Newton-John, Casting Crowns, Bill Engvall and Josh Turner.

By phone from California, Williams said he’s looking forward to playing in Florida, one of his favorite states to visit on tour with The Temptations, which he helped found in 1961.

He said the gala audience could expect a show filled with Temptations’ classics, such as “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Get Ready.”

“We will definitely be doing Temptations; we won’t be stepping out of character,” he said. “I’m thrilled to know 54 years later, we’re still bringing happiness the world over.”

Tickets for The Temptations will go on sale Aug. 4 for $35, $40 and $45 with 34 “Ultimate Fan Seats” in the first two rows for $75 each.

Overall, there will be plenty to do and see for everyone to somehow get involved with the gala, Johnson said.

For information, see www.floridahospital.com/heartland or call (863) 402-5525.


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