Ever since the first Gala D'Vine in 2005, this annual fundraiser has been both winner and healer in the Tri-Cities.
That first year, there was no provision for an outstanding citizen or citizens to be the focus of the event.
But its initial success made it clear the gala might become the premier fundraising event for Kennewick General Hospital.
All proceeds over their costs go to KGH's medical programs.
This year, joining a list of great and generous Tri-City leaders selected for special honors were attorney Lee Kerr and his wife, Nancy, an inveterate volunteer, author, educator and co-founder of the Reading Foundation.
Lee and Nancy join a select company while bringing that group even more distinction.
With the Kerrs spotlighted, Gala D'Vine netted $160,000 this year, through auctioning off exotic vacations, artwork and exquisite meals for dinner parties. In a separate silent auction, patrons bid on baskets, gadgets, wines and an almost endless array of other donated treasures great and small.
In addition to auctioned items, participants pledged an additional $30,000 in cash donations.
The overall net from the evening exceeded the organizers' goal for the evening by 25 percent.
The list of past honorees is still short enough to be included in this editorial:
2011 -- Lee and Nancy Kerr
2010 -- Bill Lampson
2009 -- Mike McWhorter
2008 -- Wanda Briggs
2007 -- Dr. Rod and Thelma Coler
2006 -- George Jones
KGH Chief Executive Officer Glen Marshall noted that the annual event's cumulative proceeds total more than $1 million in support of programs and services at the hospital.
The whole community is better off for the gala's success.