Hospital Gala brings local artists and patrons together in patriotic night

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Larry Fleming, Jaki Motter, Carolyn Butler, and Robert Fleming stand in front of their father, Jack Fleming’s, collage of art work.

BRAWLEY – Under a canopy of twinkling white lights, a bright full moon, and patriotic colors, the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Foundation held their 10th annual Under the Stars Gala aptly named, “From Sea to Shining Sea” with President Carter Taylor presiding.

 Pioneer employees catered to 300 patrons of the foundation who come each year to support the work of the foundation and bid on the works of the valley’s finest talent.

This evening’s art auction was dedicated to the memory of Jack and Eunice Fleming, longtime supporters of performing and visual arts in Brawley.

Jack Fleming, an artist himself, began donating works for the foundation’s auction from the onset. He and his wife, Eunice, also supported other artists, especially young high school talent.

Jack was the moving force behind the Foundation’s recognition of young artists at Brawley Union High School who compete for cash prizes, and who also agree to have their works of art sold as part of the art auction.

This year’s young artist high school winners were Clara Miramontes, 1st place, and Daniel Valdez, 2nd place. Clara submitted a black and white pencil drawing inspired from a photograph taken during the Great Depression. Her work sold for $600.

Daniel, inspired by this year’s patriotic theme, submitted his 16×20 tempera painting of an eagle in flight painted as the flag of freedom. His work brought $350 to the cause.

The foundation raised over $30,000 in the auction which will be donated to the pre-natal department to purchase a fetal monitor.

Newly selected artists such as photographers Bill Meister and  Jonathan Archer joined veterans Ruth Williams, Bill Gates, Joy Kramer, and Ann Smith, to name a few, on the auction block as their works brought hundreds, and at times, thousands of dollars.

The highlight of the evening was the revealing of who won the coveted Margaret Award, named after the first recipient, Margaret Lassey. Karen Smith, past winner read the biography of Chief Nursing Officer and Foundation member, Robin Atadero.

The honor was a total surprise to the hard working chief nurse, but she gathered herself to express her gratitude to the Foundation to for their work for the hospital and to the people gathered that make the fundraising possible.

“I love the energy this affair brings the hospital,” Atadero said.