Bourbon Street Comes Alive at Fifth Annual Mardi Gras Celebration for We Care Foundation
Amid the revelry of Bourbon Street, New Orleans cuisine, carnival booths, and a Samba line, the We Care Foundation of Indian River kicked off its 5th Anniversary Mardi Gras Celebration at Oak Harbor Country Club.
Over 200 guests attended We Care’s signature fundraising event on March 1st, enjoying a culinary tour of New Orleans, dancing to music from DJ Louis G, stilt walkers, jugglers, and the amazing Phoebe’s Samba Team. Adding to the excitement of the evening was a silent auction, a roving magician and a 50/50 drawing.
Founded in 1991 as a cooperative venture between the Indian River County Medical Society, the IRC Health Department, and the IRC Hospital District, the We Care program coordinates free physician services for uninsured indigent patients in Indian River County. More than 160 volunteer doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals donate care to as many as 3,000 qualified Indian River County residents each year. These donated services are valued at over $1 million annually.
Dr. Dennis Saver, founder of the We Care Program 28 years ago, started the party as he led in the samba line of dancers and drummers, who then entertained the guests. Following their performance, Dr. Saver addressed the Mardi Gras crowd.
“Thank you for being here tonight to honor the giving spirit of physicians who have volunteered free medical service to our neighbors in need, Saver said. “We Care continues to be blessed by the support of this community, and is grateful to our sponsors and donors.”
He added, “Later this year, we will kick-off a sustainable funding campaign that will bring hundreds of Indian River residents to the We Care Clinic where they will hear the We Care story and hopefully become volunteers.”
During his remarks, Saver also recounted two pivotal programs including Hepatitis C medication to cure the illness, at no charge to 30 patients. Retailing at $75,000 for each treatment, We Care leveraged $2.25 M benefit from this drug alone. On “GI day” last month, 26 We Care patients had free endoscopies in the new Scully Endoscopy Center by volunteer GI doctors. The Foundation also paid to help patients receive cataract lenses during free cataract surgery, wound care supplies, CPAP machines, medications, transportation, eye exams, prescription glasses and more.
Dr. Saver concluded his remarks by thanking the Mardi Gras Krewe, headed by co-chairs Elizabeth White and Brian Hartman, and all guests for their continued support and dedication to the We Care Program.
Mardi Gras ticket sales, donations, raffle sales, and sponsorships, raised funds for We Care. Top sponsors and donors of the celebration included The Bernard Egan Foundation, Your South Florida BMW Centers, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, Palm Gardens of Vero Beach, Premier Citrus, Deborah A. Hawkins, Dennis and Jeannie Saver, and Marjorie Turley.
All proceeds from the evening return directly to the Indian River County community to help meet We Care program non-physician ancillary medical or medically related needs for We Care patients.
Donate to our Cause
Charitable contributions to the We Care Foundation of Indian River are used to supply We Care patients with prescription medications, medical equipment, post-surgical medical supplies, transportation for medical appointments and other needs. The We Care Foundation also provides financial support to the We Care Clinic.
Dedicated Volunteer Physicians provided more than $1 Million in vital services for We Care patients annually. However, there remain medical needs beyond physician services which are not currently funded. This is where the We Care Foundation of Indian River can make a significant difference – but we need YOUR help!
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For more information, contact:
Shelley Stuven, Executive Director,
We Care Foundation of Indian River