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More than 800 patients were served last year at Volunteers in Medicine, and clinic staff has seen the strong need continue this year.
Physicians, nurses and other professionals donated more than $562,000 in medical services to the Columbus-based organization that serves uninsured and underinsured patients and helps them deal with changes in health care.
A Nov. 8 fundraiser at Clarion Hotel and Conference Center on Jonathan Moore Pike in Columbus will attempt to generate additional financial support for the clinic. The Reverse Raffle, VIM’s annual fundraiser, underwrites one-fourth of the clinic’s annual operating budget.
Last year, 100 sponsors and 450 attendees raised $164,000.
“Moving Forward Together” is this year’s theme, and the fundraiser will highlight how the clinic will keep serving residents with their health care needs.
VIM assists a range of people. They include those who struggle to pay family bills but do not qualify for other assistance programs, those who cannot afford to buy their medication and those who have no dental insurance, said Kevina Schumaker, chairwoman of the 18th annual gala.
“There still is a need. I see too many people falling through the cracks,” Schumaker said.
One of the challenges has been the rise in the number of patients needing treatment for chronic conditions who are referred to specialists. The number increased 7.2 percent from 2011 to 2012.
“With all the changes in health care now, I’m afraid VIM could be seeing even more patients,” said Schumaker, who has served as the event chairwoman for more than 10 years.
Schumaker also has been a longtime member and supporter of the Columbus Regional Health Foundation, a key supporter of VIM.
The evening includes cocktails, dinner, music, dancing and the Reverse Raffle with a grand prize of $10,000. Instead of one name being drawn, a backward drawing lets the suspense build until the last number is announced as the winner. This person does not need to be present to win.
Only 500 of the $100 raffle tickets are sold. Most are sold in advance, but Schumaker said fewer than 100 usually are available on the night of the fundraiser.
The event also will include recognition of two longtime VIM supporters: the late Howard Lickerman and his wife, Carolyn Lickerman, formerly of Columbus, who now lives in Chicago.
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