LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- The 12th annual Starlight Country Concert was a huge success -- raising more than $230,000 to help support the medical needs of sick children at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.
Lea Ann Chandler, the director of the CCMH foundation says the event had a record number of attendance, and started with a record number of sponsorships.
"We were able to start the event with over 100,000 in sponsorships. We were able to sell 15, 9 labor and delivery room naming opportunities. As well as another 5 Starlight room naming opportunities. So that was 70,000 in sponsorship through the live auction as well as just the support of the community," said Chandler.
The money will provide new technology and facilities to care for children in Southwest Oklahoma. Children like little Bentley, who was born 8 weeks early at only 3 pounds and 6 ounces.
"Bentley was about 1500 grams. He was a little ashen when he was born. A little grey. They worked furiously I guess right at the beginning to stimulate him and get him taking his own deep breaths and for his colors to change. He pinked up really quick. He's never had to be on oxygen. They've taken really good care of him," said Lindy McGlothin, Bentley's Grandma.
Bentley is one of more than 1000 babies who have been admitted to the CCMH Starlight Unit since it opened.
"The area around Lawton do have a lot of babies that are born premature. And our NICU at Lawton do serve babies that are 32 weeks and above. And we have been taking care of these babies since July of 2013," said Dr. Abishek Makkar, CCMH NICU Medical Director.
Through generous donations from the community like those raised at the Starlight Country Concert, CCMH is able to provide the best services for all of those in need, and improve the quality of care given.
"We've been able to improve our level of care. How well we take care of sick babies is much better. How well we can respond when a mothers baby is having problems in utero. We can respond much quicker, we can be more aggressive with their treatments," said Dr. Edward Legako of Great Plains Pediatrics.
Pediatrician Dr. Legako says the Starlight fundraiser is a great way for the community to come together for a common cause to help the good of the community.
"It does benefit everyone. It may be your employee. It may be your relative that has to use this unit. So everybody benefits," explained Dr. Legako.
"Your donations mean the world to a lot of people. I don't think they realize how many people they impact by giving that little bit of money or a large lumps of money, whatever you can give. Whether it's a dollar to 5,000 dollars, it's appreciated. Every cent. I know because it has impacted my family," said McGlothin.
Funds from this year's event will go toward purchasing a retina camera for the NICU, warming beds, as well as support the equipment and renovation needed to add the labor and delivery rooms. Chandler credit the community and the committee members for the success of the fundraiser.
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