Monday, April 30, 2007

Grand Opening

So, we opened the hospital in grand fashion this weekend. And I say we but it was really a pair events organized and put on by the hospital - a VIP reception Friday night for the hospital doctors and staff, the Board members, the architects, and community leaders, and then the public ribbon cutting and open house on Saturday. The Friday night event included some speechmaking, some fireworks, awesome food, and seven, count 'em, seven, open bars set up around the atrium. A good time was had by all, if I recall correctly.

The Saturday event had a crowd that was estimated to be between 7,000 and 10,000 people. All wandering around in my building scuffing the floors, dinging the walls, flushing diapers down the toilets. Ahhh, serenity now..... Anyway, it was rewarding to me to see the excitement on people's faces as they walked around their new hospital, and the hospitaldoes seem to be serious about their message to the community that this is indeed intended to be their hospital. There was face-painting, free food and refreshments, and the local Nascar folks even brought a race car out for the kids to climb in. Cool stuff all around.Another thing that I think is cool is that the hospital didn't skimp on artwork for this place. The walls are lined with the works of local artists and photographers that depict scenes from this area and it really solidifies that idea of this being a community building.

Zeke and Judy came down for the weekend, and it was fun to hang out with them, although I kept getting pulled away to shake hands, visit, smile for pictures, etc. and didn't get to spend as much time with them Friday night as I had hoped, but we did get a chance to take a long, leisurely, and private behind the scenes tour on Saturday.

And Sunday we went sailing on Florida Bay under a beautiful clear blue sky with a nice breeze and a cooler of beer and sandwiches. Wish you could have been there.....

So, gotta run. Here's a link to a news story that one of the local stations ran last week right before the opening, and a couple more photos from Saturday. Including a nice one of Zeke & Judy.

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