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Seventh annual Winter Ball draws substantial philanthropic support for academic medical center

Winter Ball 2015
December 2015

Since 2009, members of the Central Massachusetts community—business and civic leaders, philanthropists and humanitarians—have gathered in early December at the Winter Ball to celebrate and support the academic medical center consisting of UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center. The tradition continued on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, when a remarkable $880,000 was raised at the seventh annual event. In doing so, this elevated the total monies raised by this black-tie gala, which was created specifically to support the programs and shared mission of these two institutions, to nearly $5 million.

“Each year, this event demonstrates the value our community places on the work being conducted by our academic medical center,” said UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael F. Collins. “It has been wonderful to see that support increase during the past seven years, as it has enabled us to further our efforts to positively impact the health and well-being of the people of Massachusetts and beyond.”

“Support through the Winter Ball from community leaders and local businesses has helped us build buildings, upgrade facilities, purchase state-of-the-art equipment, fill key clinical, faculty and research positions, endow scholarships and fund new clinics,” said UMass Memorial President and CEO Eric W. Dickson. “So much has been accomplished over the years because of the generous support of so many.”

“By participating in the Winter Ball, these sponsors and supporters empower us to exceed our goals in support of our shared mission,” said Patrick Muldoon, president of UMass Memorial Medical Center. “In choosing to make our academic medical center the beneficiary of their generosity, these individuals and organizations are actively partnering with us in our work.”

Event proceeds are generated from corporate sponsorships, silent and live auctions, a fund-a-need auction segment—which topped $200,000, a new high—and individual ticket sales.

“Corporate sponsorships are the cornerstone of the support shown for the Winter Ball,” said Eric Dunphy and Matt Salmon, sponsorship co-chairs for the 2014 and 2015 Winter Ball Steering Committees. “We were thrilled to see sponsorships exceed $400,000 this year. By choosing to sponsor this event, these organizations have emphasized the important roles this medical school and medical center play in the community. It makes for a wonderful, community-focused partnership.”

Highlights of this year’s auctions included exciting trips to spectacular destinations, such as Grand Cayman, France and South Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime safari excursion; fine dining experiences from some of the region’s most talented chefs; tickets to popular sports, concert and performing arts events; and a unique opportunity to shadow a venture capitalist for a day, among many others.

“This year’s auction committee worked diligently for much of the year to assemble such a dynamic collection of items,” said Elizabeth Wetherbee Klein, auction chair for the 2014 and 2015 Winter Ball Steering Committees. “The result was one of the most diverse and exciting auctions in the history of the event, which translated to increased support for the lifesaving work being conducted by these vital community institutions.”

More than 440 people—the highest attendance to date—participated in the event, which was held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

2015 Winter Ball co-chairs with UMass Med leadership

From left: UMass Memorial Health Care President & CEO Eric W. Dickson, MD; UMass Memorial Medical Center President Patrick Muldoon; Winter Ball Committee Co-chairs Eric and Paula Dunphy, Matt and Kim Salmon, Elizabeth and David Klein UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael F. Collins