Sleepy Eye Medical Center and the Sleepy Eye Healthcare Foundation will celebrate a new fundraiser, the Spirit of Giving Gala, on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Sleepy Eye Medical Center and the Sleepy Eye Healthcare Foundation will celebrate a new fundraiser, the Spirit of Giving Gala, on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Sleepy Eye Event Center. Proceeds will aid in the purchase of 3D mammography software in 2018.

“We are committed to providing our community with high quality care and access to new technology. Upgrading from 2D to 3D mammography software will allow us to provide patients with technology that is quickly becoming the new standard of care in detecting breast cancers,” said Kevin Sellheim, Administrator, SEMC.

Three-dimensional mammography has been clinically shown to decrease call backs and detect cancers earlier in women. With the upgrade, SEMC anticipates increased patient satisfaction by reducing the number of women called back for additional imaging and referrals to outside facilities.

According to Sellheim, the Minnesota Department of Health awarded SEMC $39,000 through the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program in early 2018. Recently, the Sleepy Eye Healthcare Foundation pledged money toward the cause and additional moneys were raised at the SEMC Golf Tournament in June.

With a price tag of $220,000, subsequent fundraising efforts are needed.

“We were looking for a fun and different way to get the community involved in a cause that will enhance the care for patients today and well into the future. That’s when hosting a gala came to mind,” said Mikayla Bruggeman, Community Relations Coordinator, SEMC.

According to Bruggeman, the gala will feature fundraising favorites, such as live and silent auctions, as well as unique experiences for guests, including a “VIP Experience,” plated dinner, and entertainment by the a capella group, Tonic Sol-fa.

“The VIP Experience is somewhat like a pre-party, which will take place prior to the main events of the evening. Various SEMC leadership offered to host these experiences and welcome guests into their homes or a local establishment for complimentary cocktails and light appetizers,” said Bruggeman. “All attendees will receive an invitation to the VIP Experience. If you’re supporting the cause by attending our gala, you’re a VIP to us. This is just one way of thanking you for your support.”

Following the “VIP Experience,” attendees will be invited to the Sleepy Eye Event Center for a silent auction, dinner and program, live auction and entertainment.

Bruggeman noted another unique factor to this event: suggested event attire celebrating the cause. As stated on SEMC’s website, “A pop of pink in your heels or a splash in your suit, bold or low-key, either will do. Join us in whatever pink is you!” Pink is the signature color of breast cancer awareness.

Event registration is now open, and payment may be made online, by mail or in person. For further instructions, visit: https://semedicalcenter.org/event/spirit-giving-gala/.

In addition, area businesses have been invited to support SEMC’s fundraising efforts through gala sponsorship. Any individuals or businesses wishing to support the cause through in-kind gifts for the silent auction or monetary donations can visit https://semedicalcenter.org/event/spirit-giving-gala/.

“We’re grateful to be a part of a community that’s shown us support over the years in various fundraising efforts. We’re hopeful to receive support, again, as we raise funds for this important enhancement in patient care,” said Sellheim.