ILWACO — Celebration of Lights, Ocean Beach Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraising auction benefiting patient care at Ocean Beach Hospital, generated more than $14,000 last month – the most the event has ever produced.

The auction, held at the Elks Lodge Dec. 3, drew a crowd of approximately 150 people, according to Nancy Campiche, foundation president. “It really was a celebration, an amazing evening. We had a great turnout and a lot of wonderful items donated by the business community,” she said.

The evening began with a silent auction that featured dining, hotel and other gift certificates, a variety of gift baskets and garden items donated by local merchants. It also showcased 25 Christmas wreaths created and donated by hospital employees and community volunteers.

The live auction featured two large decorated Christmas trees, limited edition prints by local artists, jewelry, handmade quilts, custom pottery and home electronics. It also included original paintings by Don Nisbett and the late Dr. John Campiche, who was instrumental in establishing the hospital during its early years. 

“The highlight for me was when we presented the hospital an oversized check for $100,000 to help purchase a digital mammography unit for breast cancer screening,” Campiche said. “We’ve been reaching out to the community to help raise money to buy this equipment for quite some time and handing over the check represented a dream realized.”

Mammography testing is critical for early detection of breast cancer, according to Dr. Ivan Law, Ocean Beach Hospital’s oncologist. It can reveal changes in the breast up to two years before a doctor or patient can by physical examination.

“It was a big night for the foundation,” added Julie Oakes, one of the event organizers and foundation vice president. “We look forward to the auction each year. It’s such a fun event and a great way to bring the community together to start the holidays.” 

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