The 26th Annual Calvert Memorial Hospital Foundation Harvest Ball held Nov. 15 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel was a touching and inspiring celebration of the 27-year tenure of retiring CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis, who was honorary chair.
With the combined support of nearly 900 attendees, as well as dozens of supporters and sponsors, the popular black tie gala raised an estimated $400,000 this year. Proceeds generated by the charity event will directly support state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging technology at CMH.
By all measures, the 2014 Harvest Ball exceeded expectations with record attendance and easily surpassed the prior year’s event, which netted $130,000. Organizers attribute the overwhelming success to an outpouring of respect for Xinis, who is largely credited with leading the small non-profit community hospital to become a major Calvert institution and top regional healthcare provider.
It was a feel-good evening all around from the exciting new venue to the compelling personal stories and a surprise video tribute for the honorary chair who was surrounded by friends and family.
Emcee Doug Hill of ABC7 Weather, who lives in Huntingtown, shared how an accurate early diagnosis at Calvert Memorial’s emergency department was critical to his wife’s recovery from a life-threatening brain aneurysm.
Presenting sponsor Dr. Vinod Shah of Shah Associates talked about how the quality of care at Calvert Memorial has excelled under the leadership of Xinis. “The dynamic changes you see on the hospital campus are all due to his visionary leadership.” His enthusiastic remarks were greeted with a rousing round of applause.
Another presenting sponsor and longtime hospital supporter, Gerald Donovan of Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa, lead off the video tribute with: “Jim, you are recognized across the state as one of the best hospital administrators … what you did has saved lives. You have affected every family -- including my family.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer thanked Xinis for his extraordinary service and contributions to Calvert County and its people. Sen. Ben Cardin praised his willingness to collaborate and partner with others who could make a difference. Maryland Hospital President and CEO Carmela Coyle said, “Jim has made Calvert a true example of what it means to focus on wellness.”
American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock summed it up best when he said, “Real leadership goes beyond the organization and influences the entire community for the better and that’s certainly what has happened with Jim’s work at Calvert Memorial.” The video drew a standing ovation from the record-setting crowd that included many past hospital board members and employees as well as state and local officials.
For his part, Xinis focused on how donations to the CMH Foundation make a lasting impact on the hospital’s ability to care for the community. “At the time I planned my retirement and agreed to serve as honorary chair for the ball, I had no idea that I would face a personal diagnosis of lymphoma.”
Xinis went on to recount how he received treatment in Calvert’s Infusion Therapy Center that was renovated with funds raised by the ball in 2007 and how his chemotherapy was administered using the smart IV pumps that were purchased with proceeds from the 2011 ball.
“I am living proof that you never know when your life will depend on the technology and the doctors at Calvert Memorial Hospital,” he added.
According to CMH Foundation Director Dixie Miller, this year’s ball drew unprecedented support from the community with 119 sponsors including physician groups, county businesses, local residents and hospital vendors.
“We are so grateful to all of those who made this evening possible,” she said, “from our amazing Harvest Ball Committee to our sponsors and all of the attendees. It is truly humbling to see such a spectacular show of support. Your generosity will help us build and sustain our hospital for generations to come.”
“We especially want to recognize our top sponsors Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa, Shah Associates and Twin Contracting Corporation,” said Miller, “as well as Associates in Radiation Medicine, Mamma Lucia Italian Restaurant, American Radiology Services and American Radiology Associates, Chesapeake Anesthesia Associates, Dickinson Jewelers, Hargrove, John and Marianne Harms, Steve and Sunny Keithley, MedStar Health, Solomons Nursing Center, Wilson & Parlett, Mr. and Mrs. James Xinis, Bank of America, Mark Biegel – Biegel Waller Advisory Services, Calvert Internal Medicine Group, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, CNL Healthcare Properties/Holladay Properties, Rev. and Mrs. Robert L. Conway, Directmail.com, Emergency Medicine Associates, Exelon Generation - Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, Garner Exteriors, Leach Wallace Associates, M & T Bank, OBER | KALER Attorneys at Law, Physicians Inpatient Care Specialists, Plan B Technologies, Michael Stansbury, CFP, Merrill Lynch, Dr. and Mrs. John Saunders with Alan Wilson and Dr. Stephen Peters, University of Maryland Medical System, Wilmot Sanz Architects, World Gym, Armstrong, Donohue, Ceppos, Vaughn & Rhoades, Dominion Cove Point LNG, Freedom Office Products, Grace Care, Johns Hopkins Medicine, K Conway Physical Therapy, Rymer & Associates and Nancy Ulanowicz, MD.
You can view more photos of the 2014 Harvest Ball on the CMH Facebook Page.