Hancock Medical Center
- by Ellis Anderson
Hancock County is known more for its friendly people than glitz and glamour, but Moonlight on the Bay is one event where both come together. The annual black-tie affair – now in its 21st year – will bring together hundreds of Hancock Medical Center supporters on Friday, September 22nd, at Hollywood Casino’s Cypress Cove Ballroom.
The gala is produced by and benefits the Hancock Medical Center Foundation, a non-profit organization that has supported the county’s only hospital for more than three decades. The funds raised by the event are used to enhance hospital services and equipment, helping make Hancock Medical a state-of-the-art facility.
Each year, the event honors one individual who has been pivotal in the hospital’s success. In 2017, the honoree is surgeon Brian Anthony, M.D. The beloved physician has been serving Hancock county patients for more than 21 years.
The gala begins at 6pm with a patrons’ party cocktail hour, with the sit-down dinner and video/honoree program beginning at 7:30pm. From 9pm – 11:30pm, patrons dance to live music by Witness and continue vying for items up for bid in the silent auction.
Tickets are $100 per person, with different patron levels beginning at $150 and can be reserved by calling Tom Carlton at (228) 467-8790.
Tom Carlton, Hancock Medical marketing/development director, says that one of the highlights this year will be the attendance of a former patient, Richard Empson.
By the time Empson - two-time cancer survivor - arrived at the hospital, his chances for survival were extremely low. He and his family credit the quick action of Anthony and the HMC staff for saving his life.
“We always have lots hotel stays and casino packages and restaurant certificates,” says Carlton. “We always have so many items, thanks to the generosity of our local businesses and patrons.”
Money raised by past Moonlight On the Bay events has been used to help fund the lifesaving Telestroke Program, fetal monitoring systems, mobile ultrasounds, mammography assistance for the uninsured, the Joseph Lee M.D. operating room suite and much more (click here to read more).
Carlson says dress for the event is black-tie optional with some attendees opting for tuxedos or formals and others dressing in business attire.
For more information or to reserve seating, call Carlton at (228) 467-8790.