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News Releases / 2010

Russells To Chair Gala Event Benefiting Ojai Hospital

Ojai California, 08/03/2010

Since the early days of their 29-year marriage, Peggy and John Russell have been hard at work to promote quality health care in the communities where they’ve lived.  When they moved to Ojai from Altadena 11 years ago, they naturally directed their volunteer energy to the hospital serving their new community.

This year, the couple has teamed up to chair the 9th annual Nightingale Ball—the major fund-raising activity of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation Guild.

“We’re passionate about our local hospital and appreciate how important it is to the health of our community and to our friends who live here,” said Peggy, who co-founded the Hospital Foundation Guild 10 years ago with Barbara Pops, another avid hospital supporter.

Peggy is a past president of the Guild and now serves as treasurer of the Hospital Foundation.  John also sits on the Foundation Board of Directors as well as on the board of Community Memorial Health System, the parent organization of the Ojai hospital.  John was part of the group that helped restructure the Ojai Hospital from a for-profit entity to a non-profit organization in 2002 and served on the board of OVCH before its merger with CMHS.

“I’ve always been interested in health and medicine,” John noted, “and even considered going to medical school at one point.  Quality health care is so important, not only to Peggy and me personally but to the community where we live.”

Although John decided to pursue a career in business rather than medicine, he’s devoted much of his volunteer time through the years to non-profit hospitals.  He has been on the board of the Huntington Medical Research Institutes in Pasadena for the past 14 years and also served two years on the board of Huntington Hospital.

This year’s Nightingale Ball, to be held Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Ojai Valley Inn, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ojai Valley Community Hospital.  The evening will feature fine dining, music, dancing, a raffle and live auction.  All proceeds will benefit the hospital.

“The Nightingale Ball has been an incredibly successful fund-raising event,” Peggy reported.  “It’s raised close to a million dollars for the hospital in only nine years’ time, helping to fund the new Emergency Department and other improvements.  We invite the community to support this gala event once again and join us on Nov. 13.”

In addition to their strong commitment to the hospital, the Russells have given their time and talent to other service organizations in the Valley.  Peggy sits on the HELP of Ojai board while John is involved with Rotary.  He also serves on the board of Ojai Community Bank and was a founder of that business.  The Russells’ home in Meiners Oaks is a loving refuge for unwanted birds and animals, ranging from parakeets to wallabies.

To purchase tickets to the Nightingale Ball or to become a Ball sponsor, contact the Guild office at 640-2317.

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