Let's groove tonight

Let's groove tonight

One of the most highly anticipated events of the year is the Christus Health Foundation Southeast Texas Annual Benefit Gala—in addition to raising much needed funds for the renovations of the local Christus hospitals, the black tie event is very simply one heck of a party.  Past entertainers who have appeared at the local event include Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Michael Bolton, Ray Charles, Lionel Richie and last year’s band, Chicago.

For the 31st annual black tie event scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at the Beaumont Civic Center, expect nothing less as far as entertainment and brace yourselves for the elements—Earth, Wind & Fire.

One of the most musically accomplished bands in American history, Earth Wind & Fire has won four American Music Awards, six Grammy Awards, and the band shares memberships in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  Radio hits include “Boogie Wonderland,” “September,” “Sing a Song,” “Shining Star” and of course, “Let’s Groove.”

The band has a soulful funk-feel with its blend of rhythm, blues and rock and roll—an award winning combination that will have everyone out of their seats when the band hits the stage.

“There is no other venue quite like this one,”  said Ivy Pate, Christus Southeast Texas regional vice president of philanthropy. “At a typical concert, you can wind up pretty far away from the band unless you’re in the front row.  But here at the Civic Center, there’s really not a bad seat.”

Pate explained that organizers turn the stage to take full advantage of visibility in the facility.

“The seating is closer in, so it’s an intimate environment, and there’s really not many places you can go where the seating is this up close and personal.  Even the back row is close.”

Carrying a nick-name as the ‘Academy Awards’ of fashion in Southeast Texas, the gala event features a gourmet dinner and, of course, some of the biggest names in entertainment to grace the center stage.  Pate, who handpicks the entertainment, said she looks forward to the evening every year but is most delighted with the community’s support.

“The entertainment is thrilling, but I’m more thrilled about the end result from these funds,” said Pate.  “We try to keep up with the latest advancements in medical care here in Southeast Texas so that our community has the best we can offer, and part of that means having the best equipment that money can buy.  We are really so appreciative of the people who support this benefit, so we make sure to show them a good time.” 

The event begins at 7 p.m. with an opening reception cocktail hour, until 8 p.m. when everyone is seated for dinner.  Soon following dinner is a short program as the foundation and gala chairs Cindy and Jamie Dishman honor Valero for their support of the Pediatric Unit renovations at Christus St. Mary in Port Arthur.

“Every year this fundraiser recognizes those who have been generous to the foundation’s area hospitals, and Valero has given us a significant contribution towards the renovations of the pediatric wing at St. Mary’s Hospital.   Individuals and businesses have provided a better, brighter and healthier future for the people of southeast Texas through their patronage of this event,” said Pate.  This year’s goal is set at $500,000 to be distributed to providing both equipment and renovations to three area hospitals: Christus St. Elizabeth, Christus St. Mary and Christus Jasper Memorial.

Pate added that those unable to attend the event but would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the foundation are welcome to do so.

Individual tickets to the event are $375, and a table for eight guests starts at $3,000.  

To learn more or to receive a personalized invitation, please call (409) 899-7555. For more information about the foundation or the event please visit www.christushealthfoundationsetx.org.