Stillwater Strong and Total Fitness Aquatics Win Big with SMC Foundation Gala


A $2 million MediFlight helicopter and Val Castor’s weather-aware KWTV9 Storm Chasing unit were front and center with their pilots to greet guests to the annual Stillwater Medical Center Foundation Gala on Sat., Nov. 14. They were just two of several unique experiences the  live auction attendees had the opportunity to bid on to raise funds for the warm water therapy pool in the Total Aquatics Center and the Stillwater Strong Fund. “Holding our event in the middle of this amazing 10-0 Cowboy Football season was a bit tricky, but our guests still completely filled Meditations Banquet Hall and it was just a terrific evening,” said SMC Foundation Gala Chairperson, Beverly Wells.

The capacity crowd, which was sold out two months ago due to an increase in corporate sponsorships, helped raise over $70,000.00 with 50% of the live auction proceeds going to the Stillwater Strong Fund to benefit those individuals killed and injured during the OSU Homecoming Parade. Guests were treated to a revealing presentation by Vicky White, a Stillwater High School junior who completed the six-week Breedlove Internship this summer. Detailing some of her eye-opening experiences as a potential future physician, she thanked the crowd for helping make programs, like her internship, a reality and relayed just how impactful those experiences were for decision-making about her future career in medicine.

Attendees also bid on the opportunity to host a dinner for 12, created by the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award winner, Hawaiian Chef Sam Choy. The author of 16 cookbooks, Chef Choy has also been featured on the Food Network, and recently on “The Deadliest Catch.” He was a chef at the renowned Waldorf Astoria early in his career. The four-time James Beard Award nominee will headline the Foundation’s 2016 Hawaiian-theme gala at a date to be announced in the spring. Another unique experience was the chance to sit down with Nashville, TN, Warner Brothers Music Executive Vice President Scott Hendricks, for a one hour, no-holds-barred conversation about writing, publishing, promoting and recording in the music business. Mr. Hendricks is one of country music’s most prolific record producers having produced music for Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins and others. Hendricks has also appeared multiple times as a guest music mentor on the NBC television show, “The Voice” and holds 99 Top 10 hits to his credit, with 61 of those hits making it to No. 1.

“The Chef Choy and Scott Hendricks experiences are a couple of the most unique opportunities I think our guests had the chance to bid on. I’m confident our 2016 event will generate even more interest and will hopefully elevate awareness for the next major project we’ll announce in the coming months. The Stillwater Strong effort has undoubtedly brought a heightened level of awareness to Stillwater Medical Center in the last month, reminding the community our physicians, nurses, staff and administration continue to focus on being the best hospital we can be for the Stillwater region,” commented D. Scott Petty,

Executive Director – Stillwater Medical Center Foundation and Community Marketing Liaison for SMC.