Harvest Moon Ball was a glitzy, Gatsby hit
Margaretville — The Auxiliary of Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center held a sold-out Harvest Moon Ball on Saturday at the Hanah Mountain Resort.
Among the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Keene A. Roadman Citizen of the Year Award to longtime community leader John Riedl.
The award recipient, who is a retired Margaretville Central School superintendent, has been a volunteer for many years and has played a key role as chair of the Auxiliary Wellness Committee.
Carey Wagner, president of the the Margaretville Hospital Board of Directors, offered the following overview in his address at Saturday’s ball:
The theme for this year’s Harvest Moon Ball is The Great Gatsby inspired by one of America’s greatest novels. Most of us remember Gatsby for its portrayal of 1920s excess, “fast living” and glamorous style. We remember Jay Gatsby’s fabulous parties on the waterfront, beautiful women in shimmering dresses and dapper men in tuxedos. We are less likely to remember the book’s condemnation of that life style, the message that ultimately all that good time sparkle and flash do not add up to anything worth having. The book does not suggest there is anything wrong with partying and having a good time, but suggests that for life to be worth living there has to be something more. People need to serve some higher purpose.
Tonight’s festivities are a good example. Unlike Gatsby’s extravaganzas in Fitzgerald’s novel, our celebrations really are just the icing on a substantial cake. As we dig deeper into our community, we find layers of real commitment to important ideals: wellness education, improving health care delivery, assisting people in need.
We may dress up for an evening’s frolic, but beneath the finery are hardworking, dedicated people who understand what is valuable and what is not; who are willing to contribute their time, money and – perhaps most importantly - their labor for the greater good of the community.
But we cannot simply rest on our laurels. While the staff, administration, board and supporters of Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center have much to be proud of, it is also true that our accomplishments are ever more difficult to achieve. This is not simply because the world has become more complicated, and healthcare in particular, more heavily regulated and quickly changing.
We have to work harder and longer to achieve our goals because there are ever fewer of us working. It was not so many years ago that fundraising events had sufficient volunteers so the tasks did not fall too heavily on any one person. But nowadays the decline in volunteers has made it almost impossible to produce some our most time-honored and beloved events. But, at least so far, our community dedication has kept the flame alive.
Each do our part
Tonight as we celebrate our achievements and honor one of our members for his particular dedication to the values we all share, I ask that each of you give some thought to how you can help continue the projects that keep our hospital and nursing home vibrant – not just by your own efforts, but by recruiting other (and younger!) members of our community.
I have no doubt that there are many residents of our area (both full and part time) who seek more from life than the Gatsby’s of the world provide, and share our ideal of service to others and the community. We simply have to find them and let them know we need their help.