LIHUE — More than 150 golfers took off from the Puakea Golf Course Saturday morning to help Gather Federal Credit Union and the Wilcox Health Foundation with its fundraising efforts for Wilcox Medical Center’s renovated emergency room and trauma center.
“We had a goal of 150 golfers,” said Terri Kaniho of Gather FCU. “But there was a waiting list so we arranged to have more golf carts brought in. We are sending out about 180 golfers — that’s all the golf carts we can fit on the course.”
Golfers were treated to a variety of opportunities to assist the fundraising efforts, where items from the silent auction teased the string of tickets while the huge field waited for the arrival of the Jack Harter helicopter carrying 1,200 golf balls for the golf ball drop.
Coordinated through the efforts of Gather FCU, Fran Roach of the Puakea Golf Course and Casey Reimer of Jack Harter Helicopters, Danny Rego’s golf ball dropped in the midst of the white rain the closest to the hole to win the $1,000 cash prize, with Jerri Largusa and Roy Shioi getting consolation awards of $250 each.
“This is going to be a great new emergency facility,” said Andy Bestwick, the Wilcox Health Foundation development coordinator who made an appearance to visit the field of volunteers and golfers with Rudy, the Wilcox chief canine officer.
Gather FCU has pledged $150,000 towards the Wilcox Health Foundation’s goal of raising funds for the $4.5-million project that will acquire updated technology, build two dedicated trauma resuscitation suites, add a behavioral health safe room to the Emergency Department, and add space to improve workflow utilizing new equipment.
The fundraising campaign to renovate the Emergency Department is in celebration of Wilcox Medical Center’s 80 years of serving the Kauai community.
The current Wilcox Emergency Department, seeing approximately 25,000 visits annually, was opened in 1995.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.