The Southeastern Health Foundation Advocates’ seventh annual Boots & BBQ fundraiser held Oct. 20 at the Southeastern Agriculture Center was a great time, with special attention paid toward its goal and beneficiaries.
The Foundation Advocates fundraising efforts surpassed any previous Boots & BBQ goal with a gross total of about $39,000.
The Advocates is a group of young professionals who understand the importance of Southeastern Health to our community.
Funds raised will go directly toward the purchase of a robotic exoskeleton for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation at Southeastern Rehabilitation-WoodHaven. Lori Dove, Southeastern Health vice president of Post Acute Care, expressed her excitement that Southeastern Health’s exoskeleton will be one of only two in North Carolina and how wonderful it will be to help meet this rehab need in our state.
Over 300 guests were able to see the robotic exoskeleton in action the night of the fundraiser. Kevin Oldt, of Pennsylvania, a paraplegic with injuries from a snowmobile accident, and the team from Ekso Bionics, captivated the audience as Oldt walked across the stage demonstrating the exoskeleton. Oldt shared his story about how access to this equipment had changed his life and commented on how awesome it was to see a community coming together to raise money to bring this equipment to Southeastern Rehabilitation-WoodHaven.
This year’s event featured a live auction, which included a variety of outings and experiences and a Polaris ATV from Yahama of Lumberton. The auction helped raise close to $10,000.
“The Advocates are thrilled with the turnout of guests and sponsorship support,” Chairwoman Christy Bryant said. “We are thankful for the support of RGS Builders, Brisson Drugs, the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, our 27 Gold Sponsors, 25 Silver Sponsors as well as the 17 product, service and live auction donors who helped make the night a success.”
The group has already begun the planning process for its 2018 Boots & BBQ and look forward to finding other needs the Foundation can help Southeastern Health fulfill.
For more information about the Southeastern Health Foundation, log on to www.southeasterhealth.org/foundation.
Heather Walters is the Southeastern Health Foundation Annual Giving specialist.