Healthcare party preps community for TexasFest

The Irving Healthcare Foundation (IHF) hosted a kickoff party for the 39th annual TexasFest at JR’s Custom Auto Service on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

“This is the first time we’ve been at JR’s Custom Auto, and they were so gracious to open their doors to us,” said John Drake, President of The Irving Healthcare Foundation.

“Since we are the only charitable hospital, we don’t get any shareholders and we don’t get any county taxes. The money we make after we pay our bills, people, and charity care, anything that is left over gets put back into the hospital. These days, with healthcare reform and insurance reform, less and less is left over. That’s why donations are important.”

TexasFest will take place at the Studios at Las Colinas on April 14. TexasFest raises money for healthcare needs at Baylor Scott and White-Irving.

Last year, IHF’s goal was to raise $2 million in donations. They exceeded their goal by raising $4 million in donations. IHF fully funded nine pieces of equipment, paid for nursing education, and paid salaries.

“When people come to TexasFest, they are making a gift to help support the hospital,” Drake said. “Less than one dollar out of every $100 is left over for the hospital to buy equipment or fund nursing education. When people come to TexasFest it’s a very basic way of helping the hospital.”

This year’s goal is for Texasfest to generate $175,000 for the hospital.

TexasFest is used Nimitz High School for the first time as caterers during the party and hopes to work more with high schools in Irving.

“We love working with the Irving schools,” Drake said. “The high schools in Irving have great culinary programs, so we can get wonderful foods at a much lower cost than a traditional company. We always try to use the schools when we can.”

This year’s TexasFest theme, ‘Texas goes Hollywood,’ was revealed during the event.

“I thought about volunteering for TexasFest over the years and I had several people ask me a couple of times to help,” said volunteer Heather Schmidt. “We’ve never done this theme before, so I hope this inspires people to get out and see the new format.”

“I attended my first TexasFest around 39 years ago at the second annual TexasFest,” said Diann Contestabile. “It’s exuberant, because there are lots of exciting things going on. It is representation of some of the most influential and interest of people who are interested in Irving and the benefits the Irving hospital can provide for their healthcare.”

“This is such an amazing cause,” said Cass Prince, co-chair of TexasFest. “We have such an amazing hospital facility here in Irving. We want people who have not been to TexasFest in a few years to come back, because Irving has great depth in terms of philanthropy.”

“I think that this is an important event for Irving,” said Craig Bolman, co-chair of TexasFest. “It’s the biggest philanthropy event all year. It’s such a great deal for the community and the staff and the IHF has worked so hard. We are so honored to play a small role in making such a huge successes.”

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