The Spirit of the Summer Gala—an event designed to bring the Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) community safely together in a virtual way—welcomed more than 400 attendees and raised more than $78,000 July 17 – 31, 2020.

“The Spirit of the Summer Gala was an incredible success by all measures,” said Leslie Keefe, the vice president of Corporate Development at SVHC. “It was so inspiring and just what the community needed at this time.”

The event included a video presentation from SVHC leaders and a concert by world-renowned vocalist Maxine Linehan. The event’s highlight was the debut of an original song Linehan and her husband, songwriter, and producer Andrew Koss wrote together. It is called “Stronger Together.” Written specifically for the event, the song honors of frontline healthcare workers locally and worldwide.

“This was a tremendous gift from these two exceptionally talented musicians,” said Leslie Keefe, vice president for Corporate Development at SVHC. “Against the odds, the song and Maxine’s performance made this year’s event every bit as special as the Galas of the past.”

The event finished with a fun and exciting playlist from media sponsor WEQX 102.7 FM, so virtual attendees could dance at home.

Virtual attendees were encouraged to order to-go meals from local restaurants on July 17, which supported the event with a percentage of the proceeds from event-related meals. Miller’s Toll in Bennington created a signature cocktail specifically for the event, and attendees who contributed $200 or more received a commemorative gift.  

Raffle winners included the following lucky attendees:

  • $10,000 Cash: Patti Miller
  • Fine Art Painting donated by George Van Hook: Robert Haley
  • Pair of Apple Watches donated by Dr. and Mrs. Justin P. Salem: Sue Burns

All proceeds of the event benefit SVHC’s efforts toward continued readiness for and recovery from COVID-19.

“We owe very special thanks to our volunteer committee members, our incredibly generous sponsors, and each and every attendee,” Keefe said. “This health system is successful due, in large part, to the support it receives. We are so grateful.”




Richard and Pamela Ader Foundation



John and Deborah Larkin


Radiology Associates of Bennington

Roby Harrington III


MSK Engineering and Design




VNA Hospice of the SW Region of Vermont

Jon and Laurie Cohen

BKD CPAs and Advisors


rk Miles

Shaftsbury Insurance Agency

Hayden Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

At Home Senior Care

Chrissy and Jason Morrissey


Four Chimneys Inn

Cooley Group

Dr. and Mrs. Scott Rogge

Susan and Michael McKenna

Shaw's Supermarket - Manchester


Winburn Law

Jason P. Morrissey Law



Carol Patterson, Co-chair

Christiana Salem, Co-chair

Suzanne Anair

Angela Bevin

Amy Dobson

Vicki Jerome

Caren McVicker

Jean Morris

Jessica O’Connell

Ginger Ritchie

Allison Rogge

Janet Thibodeau


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