Dan Gemus Real Estate Team’s annual Country at Heart event

Fundraising galas usually include glitz and glam.

Dan Gemus wanted to avoid that.

The first-ever Country at Heart event, put together by the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team, raised an impressive $23,000 to support the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Windsor Regional Hospital.

“There’s a lot of events where you have to get dressed up to have a good time, but we wanted something more relaxed,” said Gemus, explaining why they went with a country theme for their inaugural event held in June.

“We had a barbecue, a lot of country music and people danced all night and had a good time.”

Tickets to the event were $85 each, but Gemus said a lot of the donation money came from event sponsors. While next year’s donation recipient may differ, Gemus said he’s glad to see the hospital’s ICU waiting room will receive a much-needed renovation sooner rather than later.

“Departments like the cancer treatment centre and the pediatrics wing receive a lot of support, but the ICU doesn’t get as much. This money is specifically earmarked to revamp the completely outdated waiting room,” he said.

In the past, his office has held an indoor charity yard sale, but Gemus said this year he wanted to “do something different to build a brand around.”

Make sure you dust off your boots for next year’s Country at Heart event, which is already scheduled for April 14, 2018.