Contact: Nancee Long
Saturday's event welcomed special guests and community members to begin a new era in health care on the coast
ASTORIA, Ore. — Saturday, May 7, began a new and exciting chapter for the community and the caregivers of Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH). Taking its name from the familiar Denim & Diamond fundraisers of CMH's past, the CMH Foundation Diamond Derby brought community members, caregivers and special guests to raise money for the newly announced CMH expansion project.
Gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson, Buffalo Bills All-Pro Safety Jordan Poyer and over 275 community members came together under a large tent on CMH grounds, raising more than $400,000 for the project officially announced at the event by CEO Erik Thorsen and the Board of Trustees. Guests watched the live Kentucky Derby, dressed according to the theme, and enjoyed exceptional food prepared by the CMH Nutrition Services department. KOIN TV anchors Jeff Gianola and Elizabeth Dihn kicked off the event from the anchor desk in Portland, and sports anchor Adam Bjaranson acted as the emcee for the afternoon.
“I am always amazed by the incredible level of generosity in this community and from our supporters,” says Erik Thorsen, CEO. “We live and work in a special place, and CMH is honored and grateful for this support.”
A special acknowledgment and thanks go to former CMH Board Chair Constance Waisanen for her generous donation of $100,000, the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation for their donation of $25,000, and the Jordan Poyer Foundation for $10,000. Additionally, Poyer donated an autographed jersey and helmet that raised $14,000.
Special thanks to the event committee of Amber Hill, Kurt Birdeno, Michelle Murray, Bree Phillips, Briana Smith, Mark Kujala, and Noelle Lund and all the volunteers for their many hours of service to make this event possible. Baker Auction Company and Portland Productions also provided assistance that helped make the afternoon successful. Numerous CMH caregivers and departments were involved in this incredible event and deserve a huge thank you for their efforts and time.
During the event, Board of Trustees Chair Robert Holland, MD, PhD, and Thorsen introduced the attendees to the future plan to expand the CMH hospital facility.
“While the current hospital has been well-maintained, it lacks expandability and is vulnerable to earthquakes, tremors or tsunamis,” Thorsen says. “We need a new, resilient health care facility that will endure and help the community thrive for the next 50 years.”
Look for continued information about this project in the future.