The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation, with the help of Joe Caso, owner of Frontier Toyota, gave away a new hybrid car Wednesday.
The raffle to win the Toyota was held as a fundraising effort for the foundation, with the proceeds from ticket sales earmarked for the hospital’s emergency services department, according to foundation President Marlee Lauffer.
“I can’t say it enough times how amazing it is how this community helps support this hospital, particularly in its time of need, and conversely, we see the hospital supporting the community through COVID,” said Dr. Bud Lawrence, medical director of the emergency services department. “Obviously it’s a match that has to be there, but it’s like a match made in heaven. … We’re very thankful.”
Both hospital staff and members of the community entered the raffle, with approximately 600 tickets sold, totaling more than $60,000, Lauffer added.
And it was one of the hospital’s own who ended up winning the 2021 Toyota Hybrid LE.
Kathleen Morgan, a labor and delivery nurse, was ecstatic, she told The Signal in a phone conversation after being given the news that she’d won the car.
“I am just beyond belief … just so happy,” Morgan said, adding that it couldn’t have come at a better time, as her son is fast approaching driving age. “I’m just still overwhelmed. I’m so excited.”
As a front-line worker, Morgan felt the win was a great “thank you” to the hard work she and her colleagues have put in this past year through the pandemic.
“We really pulled everybody together, mobilized all the resources and got everything ready to help us survive whatever came our way,” Lawrence said of the pandemic’s start more than 18 months ago. “All of our staff in this hospital in every department from the emergency room to labor and delivery … has just risen to the occasion and really allowed us to provide outstanding patient-centric care.”
Moreover, the raffle was held on a momentous day for the hospital, as it celebrated the first time in more than a year that there were no COVID-19 patients hospitalized, which Lawrence called a “hallmark moment.”