Mha Black And White Ball Brings In $45,000 For Charities

Alliance adopts an ambitious 2014 agenda

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At its major fund-raising event of the year — the Black and White Ball — the Mogollon Health Alliance (MHA) raised $45,000 to help its myriad of projects.

“This is our major fund-raising event for the year,” said Sanja Long, CEO of MHA. “(But) we have ongoing fund-raising programs like our Commemorative Brick program. You can purchase a brick to put at the entrance to the hospital. They are great gifts or memorials to a lost loved one.”

The money raised at the spiffy dress-up affair goes to support health scholarships for students either planning on or pursuing careers in health.

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The Mogollon Health Alliance’s Black and White Ball and silent auction this year provoked generous contributions, big band swing music, much dancing and a chance to dress up with an old Hollywood theme. Folks showed up in everything from elegant evening wear to Indiana Jones and Cyndi Lauper outfits.

“Last year we donated $20,000 in health scholarships to 47 students,” said Long. “Many were graduating high school students, some were currently in the nursing program at GCC (Gila Community College) and others are returning to school or furthering their education.”

Besides scholarships, the MHA hosts events in town, such as the Community Health and Care Fair, happening this year on Nov. 1, and the Women’s Wellness Forum.

Attendees at the Community Health Fair can discover how to improve their health by receiving free medical screenings, and speaking with health care providers, civic clubs and advocacy groups that can help those in need.

Next month, MHA will host the Women’s Health Forum on March 29. The Web site says more than 300 women participate in the day to find out about women’s health issues and “make time for self-discovery” through workshops, a keynote speaker and networking.

One of the special projects MHA funded last year that will help the community this year included purchasing a SimMan for $8,000.

“He is a simulator for EMT paramedic training, etc,” said Long. “Tonto Basin Fire District just donated an ambulance to us. It will be used to store SimMan for training purposes and allow him to be mobile for all the fire department to use.”

On top of providing training material for fire departments, MHA also sponsored Heartsaver CPR classes that certified about 125 people.

Long said Payson Center for Success students, Little League coaches, and the Culinary Arts students from Payson High School learned CPR and earned First Aid certification as well.

Another event MHA supported for the school, the recent Northern Arizona Regional Academic Decathlon competition. As the host school, eight schools and 68 students from Kingman to Hopi High - James Madison Prep to St. Johns converged on the campus.

“We picked up half the cost of providing lunch and dinner as the hosting school for the region,” said Long

On May 3, Long said MHA will sponsor the Rim Country Forget-Me-Nots at their Kentucky Derby Day.

The organization also has a list of ongoing programs it funds with the money it raises.

MHA has assistance grants for patients in dialysis, sponsors the Pink Lady and Men in Maroon Vest volunteers at the hospital, the Hospital Thrift Shop, the Gift Shop in the hospital, and MHAXIII, an exercise rehabilitation and maintenance program housed in the Rim Country Health Senior Apartments.

The proceeds from the silent auction at the Black and White Ball went to help the Rim Country Educational Foundation.

“Rim Country Educational Foundation is one of our designated funds,” said Long. “They were the beneficiary of the Silent Auction proceeds. The monies will be used to help bring a four-year university campus to Payson.”

The MHA also helps the Community Garden, which provides the space and support for community members to learn how to grow their own food and give classes on how to store their bounty.

“We provide administrative support for the Payson Community Garden,” said Long.

As its motto says, MHA “promotes healthcare with a smile.”

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