SIKESTON - This year's Blast from the Past fund-raiser for Missouri Delta Medical Center will include some guest lip synch'ers and the chance for a trip to paradise.
"This will be our third biennial Blast from the Past," said Blair Moran, executive director of the Missouri Delta Medical Center Foundation.
It is scheduled from 7-11 a.m. Oct. 23 at the Sikeston Armory.
"This is what we do on the off-year instead of the Ball," said Sharon Urhahn, director of marketing for MDMC. She explained the two events alternate, with one or the other usually scheduled sometime in October.
Moran added that volunteers put the Ball on, while the MDMC Foundation does the Blast from the Past events. "We appreciate the employees' hard work and dedication in putting on this event," he said.
The Hospital Ball used to be the only fund-raiser for the hospital until Rodney Gibson, director of patient accounts, told Moran how his previous employer, St. John's Hospital in Joplin, had enjoyed success with "Blast from the Past" type fund-raisers.
Moran agreed it was a good idea, "so I took the ball and ran with it," he said.
"It's a very casual event - laid back and fun," said Urhahn. She said the 2002 Blast from the Past had a huge turnout. "I think a lot of people come to watch the skits."
"We should have about 10 lip-synch skits from the different departments here at Missouri Delta Medical Center," confirmed Moran. "They're all working very hard to get ready to perform."
As always, this year's skit subjects are carefully guarded secrets but usually include "elaborate costumes," according to Urhahn. In 2002, nursing administrative personnel dressed up as the Village People. "They looked just like them," Urhahn said, "and they did the 'YMCA.'"
"And the surgeons dressed up in matching red sequin gowns," she laughed.
The event will also feature some special guest performers this year for the first time: City of Sikeston employees.
"We have been doing lip synch and skits now for about three years for the corporate games and such," said Linda Lowes, the city's director of governmental services. "So this is our effort to help Missouri Delta out and have some fun at the same time."
"After the skits we will have a dance," Moran said.
As with the first two Blasts, the event will feature music from the '60s and '70s by Larry Carroll of Pro Music in Sikeston who will also provide the lighting.
The James Bayou Cookers will provide hamburgers and hot dogs, Moran said. "We truly appreciate their assistance."
The event will culminate with a drawing at 11 p.m.
"Tickets are $20 each and may be purchased at the Foundation office or at the door the night of the Blast," said Moran.
The first Blast from the Past in 2000 raffled off a new Mustang, and in 2002 the prize was a four-wheeler, but this year's winner will receive a two-way ticket to paradise.
"This year it's a trip to Hawaii," said Moran. "In conjunction with the Blast, we are raffling off a trip for two to Hawaii including $1,000 in spending money." The vacation is for eight days and seven nights.
To purchase raffle tickets, which are priced at $2 each or six tickets for $10, call the Foundation office at 472-7525. Those interested in the raffle can purchase tickets right on up until the drawing is about to be held.
"And you don't have to be present to win," added Urhahn.
As always, money raised from the raffle and the event's tickets will go toward improving the hospital's facilities.
"The money raised for this year's event will be directed to help fund the restoration of the therapy pool at the Dempster ReStart unit," Moran said. "It's just too small for all they are using it for."
The pool is used by therapists for aquatic therapy as well as for the People with Arthritis Can Exercise program which is a group class.
"We can only get five people in at a time," Urhahn said. "Our pool is unable to keep up with the load. And it's in need of repair after 10 years of heavy use."
"We appreciate past community support for this event," said Moran, "and we hope this year the response from the community will be just as positive."