Funds raised will directly support Boundary Community Hospital
By Joshua Nishimoto
The 2022 Festival of Hearts Cupid’s Dessert Dash Event is a raffle event designed to raise money for the Boundary Community Hospital (BCH) medical needs. This year, the Fry Healthcare Foundation (FHF), which has hosted their annual gala in the past, has yet to decide on the state-of-the-art medical equipment, programs or services, but no matter what FHF and the hospital chooses to fundraise for this season, you can be sure it will be a worthy cause.
“Last year we sold almost 1,000 tickets,” said Community Relations and Marketing Director Danielle Larsson. “The FOH event is one of our biggest fundraising events. It is such an amazing event that helps fund some of our largest purchases.”
Raffle tickets for this year’s event may be purchased at BCH, through FHF board members, and are tentatively going to be available at Columbia Bank. Those individuals with winning raffle tickets will be able to “dash” to choose a dessert from the available desserts donated by local community members or may even be eligible to win one of three grand prizes provided by local Bonners Ferry businesses.
“The FOH is a great way for the community to come together and support our hospital with the love they pour into their baking!” Larsson said. “The dessert dash gets quite competitive and is a blast for everyone!”
With the goal of beating last year’s numbers, and the fact that the event has moved from an in-person event to almost a completely virtual event, raising that kind of participation poses some challenges.
“We will be holding the event virtually again this year due to COVID,” Larsson said. “We hope to return to our normal gala dinner in 2023. This year’s auction will be held online, instead of in person.”
The online auction will remain open from January 31 through February 10 at noon, with the Dessert Dash tickets drawn at that time. Winners will be called and invited to participate in the Dessert Dash at Riverside Auto Center, to take place at 4pm on February 12.
Thanks to local businesses and community members donating their desserts, the Festival of Hearts event continues to be popular. It gives everyone an opportunity to join in on the fun, with grand prizes being donated by businesses like *Kootenai River Inn, Super 1 Foods, Sugar Plum Floral, Two Tones Restaurant and Hummingbird Sweets. “Other local businesses may sponsor the event and donate items to be raffled,” Larsson said. “Or they may donate dessert items to the Dessert Dash.”
With over 20 desserts to choose from, winning raffle ticket holders have the option to dash for desserts like Chocolate-Encased Cheesecake by Lisa Laffoon, Triple-Layer Chocolate Cake by Sally Ansley, Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise by Sandra Wright, and Double Crust Lemon Pie by Ruth Ann Wilson. Dessert lovers and gifters alike will be sure to line up for a chance to get some dessert and participate to support the hospital.
Like many live and in-person events, putting on the Festival of Hearts by moving it to an almost exclusively online event last year and continuing this trend to this year has been no easy feat. Needless to say, it has not been without its challenges. Luckily the Bonner Ferry community and the local businesses have rallied behind the hospital to continue to make FOH a success.
“These last couple of years with COVID have been especially challenging,” Larsson said. “The event shows just how crucial it is to have rural hospitals like ours. When neighboring hospitals are maxed out and unable to accept patients, our amazing staff were able to develop a COVID unit and care for those more critical patients. Fundraisers like the FOH are able to purchase equipment that allows for a higher level of care than we were able to provide previously. We are grateful that even though we are having a remote fundraiser, our community continues to support our hospital!”
COVID might keep BCH from hosting their typical in-person annual event, but it can’t take away the importance of continued fundraising for a small community hospital. It certainly won’t dampen their community’s heart for giving.
To keep up with the happenings surrounding the Festival of Hearts event, follow the Fry Healthcare Foundation Facebook page each day now through February 11 for the scrumptious desserts so you can decide which one you want to “dash” for if you win. Tickets are available from Fry Healthcare Foundation Board members for a donation of $10 each. Call 208.267.6912 or visit BoundaryCommunityHospital.org/foundation for more information.
*Note: The businesses listed here were last year’s event partners. The final list of participating local businesses has yet to be determined as of press time.