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Friday Focus: Charles Regional Medical Center

By Monica Meinert • February 7, 2014

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In 1939, the Charles Regional Medical Center (CRMC) had its beginnings as the Physician’s Memorial Hospital in Charles County. Its mission was to provide excellent medical care to each patient in a safe, caring and family-centered environment. Today, the medical center’s fundraising contingent, the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation, works to support this mission by raising funds from individual and corporate donors, hosting events and conducting an annual campaign. This week, we caught up with the Foundation’s Executive Director, Susan Mudd Vogel, who shared the Foundation’s story and gave us a special sneak peek into what guests can look forward to at this year’s “C” Ball!

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.).

A: CRMC Foundation is the fundraising arm for our county's only hospital. Our mission is simple: to support the medical center's financial resources while building awareness so that it may provide excellent health care services to all members of the community. Our Foundation Board of Directors and our donors are among our strongest assets for being able to make an impact for our hospital.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?

A: For me, it was the achievement of a $5 million capital campaign goal to help fund the expansion of our medical center back in 2007. We had more than 1,100 donors make commitments to this campaign, with everyone making their best gift. The excitement and enthusiasm generated by the campaign committee leadership for this project was amazing. Our medical staff, board and employees helped set the pace and tone for the campaign and the community embraced our project. From ground-breaking and hard-hat tours to ribbon cuttings and donor recognition events, our 18-month effort was filled with milestones. It was the largest campaign we had undertaken, and the largest this community had seen be successful.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?

A: Over the years, we've grown and established some signature events for our region as a way for the community to support our hospital. We have a reputation for organizing and planning some great fundraisers including our Wine Tasting, Crab Feast, "C" Ball, 5K Run/Walk and our golf tournament. While people know us by our events, I think our biggest challenge is helping the region to understand that we are more than just an event-driven non-profit. We are an organization where companies can make investments of charitable and marketing dollars and receive visibility and exposure through sponsorships to help meet their goals, while supporting an important cause. We are a place that believes in recognizing and acknowledging every gift that is made to us. We have a sophisticated operation, with well-informed staff members who are knowledgeable about accepting gifts of property, appreciated assets and gifts of life insurance. And most importantly, we value partnerships of all kinds with donors, volunteers, professional advisors and businesses, just to name a few. Through philanthropy, these partnerships allow us all to make our medical center the best it can be. There's a quote on the wall in my office which reads "Donors don't give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe." I like to think that people view giving to the Foundation as a way that they can truly make an impact and a difference.

Q: Are there any upcoming events?

A: Our Foundation is putting the finishing touches on our upcoming black tie gala, the "C" Ball, set to take place on February 15 at Middleton Hall. This year's "C" is for "Champagne", with a nod to celebrating the hospital's 75th Anniversary. This event is one of the most popular black tie events in our region. Those who enjoy a great dressed-up night out locally and enjoy dancing to a high-energy band will not want to miss this event! Tickets are available online and we're delighted that our VIP dinner element of the evening is already sold out. We pride ourselves on having elements of surprise at this gala, and this year will be no different. Without giving too many secrets away, we are thrilled to share that Vivat Hongpong, a nationally recognized, award-winning ice sculptor, is part of our gala experience this year, and that his exquisite work will be featured in amazing ways. For someone of his caliber to be with us in Charles County, this display should not be missed! The other element to our event is called "Chances to Celebrate" featuring a one in 500 chance to win one of three cash prizes. Imagine getting a call at home that night to learn that you've won $5,000! That’s just what happened last year to one of our winners! Tickets are just $100 each, can be purchased online, and the best news of all is that you do not need to be present to win! Anyone interested in supporting our "C" Ball and helping us to achieve our fundraising goal can call 301-609-4132 for reservations or more information.

Also coming up this spring for the Foundation are a 5K Run/Walk for Wellness on April 26, a Golf Classic at Swan Point on May 22 and our Blue Crabs Partnership all season long at the stadium as we raise funds through jersey auctions, feature nights, suite sales and more! Exciting things are happening at the CRMC Foundation and we want everyone to be a part of it!

Q: How can people get involved with your organization?

A: There are numerous ways to get involved. Our event committees are a great way to start. Like to golf or run? We have a committee for you. Are you a baseball fan? If so, the Blue Crabs partnership needs volunteers to 'pitch' in and help the Foundation by serving on this committee. Do you like to plan parties or are you really good at acquiring auction items from businesses and people you know? The Wine Tasting event committee may be just the place for you.

For those interested in volunteering in an alternative way, the Foundation has a Development committee that meets bi-monthly and works to engage businesses and civic organizations through direct philanthropic support that matches their interests. Here, work is done to tell the 'stories' about how philanthropy truly makes an impact and how the support through fundraising means that our caregivers have the best tools and resources to care for our patients, and that our hospital is fully prepared to meet the growing needs of our community.

The Foundation is successful in large measure because of the tremendous volunteer support it receives. Become part of something great right here in your community. Call 301-609-4132 for more information.

For those inspired to more directly volunteer for the medical center, there is an Auxiliary which has more than 100 volunteers sharing their time in our gift shop, providing hospitality at our patient information desk, serving coffee and delivering newspapers to patients. Many other opportunities exist, and the Auxiliary is well-organized operation with monthly meetings, social gatherings and opportunities to help the hospital in a meaningful way. You can learn more about Auxiliary opportunities by calling 301-609-5001.