Good News Clinics hoped to net about $50,000 Thursday night from its main fundraiser, an annual dinner featuring music, recognitions and tributes to the organization’s charitable work.
But it was particularly about the music, with Good News physicians performing a variety of songs as “Docs That Rock” — from original compositions to Hank Williams Sr. classics.
Doctors strummed guitars, yodeled and performed duets. As a finale, the group performed the 1960s hit “Stand by Me.”
“I don’t know what I was thinking trying to follow this group,” said Cheryl M. Christian, Good News Clinics executive director, as she got up to speak following the performance.
“Physicians and dentists in our community are very caring, and those performing tonight are sharing their gifts and talents to help Good News Clinics raise the funds that we need to survive,” she said.
Good News, which has a $1.4 million annual budget, provides free medical and dental care to low- and no-income uninsured residents at its offices at 810 Pine St.
A recently completed construction project added 2,000 square feet to provide better education and counseling to patients. Classes offered there were held in the medical waiting room area following the clinics’ January 2012 merger with Health Access Initiative.
Christian talked to the audience of some 400 people about Health Access, which provides specialty care referrals, diagnostic tests and treatment for uninsured patients referred by primary care providers.
The program has 230 volunteer physicians.
“They treat patients in their office who cannot be treated in a primary care setting,” Christian said. “I work with these physicians every day, but I also see the patients with the gratitude in their eyes.”
Also, earlier in the program at First Baptist Church’s banquet hall, Dr. David Westfall, advisory board member and a founding physician volunteer, presented the Sam Poole Volunteer of the Year Award to Diane Chipman.
Chipman has served as medical records volunteer at the clinics since October 2005, or following her retirement from the Gainesville school system. She raised $36,500 over eight years for the clinics, Westfall said.
“It’s our pleasure to recognize one of our critical, nonhealth care providers, who helps us, as health care providers, do what we do.”
Good News also holds a spring fundraiser, featuring barbecue and country music, catering to a younger audience, Christian said.
“Many of the people here tonight have been supporting us for 20 years, since the very beginning,” she said.