Due to risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Med Center Health will host its 17th annual Charity Ball in a virtual setting.

Similar to last year, the fundraiser scheduled Nov. 13 will feature an online auction and a live drawing.

Med Center Health will also have its “21-Days of Giving” at area businesses leading up to the day of the ball.

All proceeds gathered by Med Center Health will benefit patient care at the corporation’s Community Clinic and The Dental Clinic in Bowling Green.

Amy Hardin, executive director of the Med Center Health Foundation, said the decision to hold the ball virtually once again was necessary.

“We are the leader in health care in southcentral Kentucky,” Hardin said. “It’s our responsibility and honor to take care of this community. We want to make sure when we do an in-person event again, it can be as safe as possible. We didn’t feel at this time it was the time to do it.”

However, she said it is imperative to still have the event due to it being the largest annual fundraiser for both The Community Clinic and The Dental Clinic.

Both sites help provide health care and dental services for individuals in the community who could not otherwise afford services.

“It really is an incredible thing to have in our community for people who receive it,” Hardin said of the aid provided by the clinics.

Details are still being finalized for the order and start times of events for the night of the ball.

The online auction can be viewed at CharityBallAuction.org. To bid on items, attendees must first download the Handbid App on their phone and choose the Charity Ball 2021 event.

Individuals will need to register at the website and apply a credit card in order to bid. Bidding will begin Nov. 1 and end Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.

Kathy Smith, Med Center Health’s director of annual giving, said the continued virtual setting was disappointing but the best decision at this time. She is still expecting well over $250,000 to be raised though the fundraiser.

Even if many decide not to take part in the virtual event, Smith urged the public to help support businesses included in the 21-Days of Giving.

“I encourage everyone to come out and shop at these places,” she said. “A lot of these donors have been with us for several years. By shopping at these places, it only adds up to the donation they will give back to us. Our goal for the 21 days is $25,000. It’s also supporting our community because these businesses see an increase of customers.”

Each day during the event, a local businesses will help fundraise for Med Center Health.

Truist Financial is the first business on the schedule after already making a $25,000 donation and being named a platinum sponsor.

The full schedule for local businesses participating in the fundraiser and their promotions can be found across Med Center Health’s social media platforms.

Smith said the items in the auction are “unique” and include a diamond ring from Goldsmith Jewelry created just for the charity ball.

Two live drawings will also be held for a seven-day Gulf Shores getaway and a $1,260 Louis Vuitton purse.

Raffle tickets for the prizes and further information on all events through the Charity Ball can be found at https://medcenterhealth.org/foundation-events/charity-ball/.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.