Lewis Griswold

Tulare hospital foundation to hold Great Gatsby gala

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux poses in Gatsby-era garb in advance of a murder mystery gala in Tulare.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux poses in Gatsby-era garb in advance of a murder mystery gala in Tulare. Special to The Bee

The Tulare Hospital Foundation is holding a Great Gatsby-themed dinner and murder mystery gala March 26, and it’s sure to be a success given the number of business leaders and elected officials, including Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and District Attorney Tim Ward, in the 22-member cast.

But it’s the story of Jan Smith, the executive director of the foundation, and her cancer diagnosis that adds a human element.

She was organizing the event when she found out she had breast cancer, had surgery the same day, and is now finishing chemo. Radiation will follow.

“It’s very sobering when you personally are dealing with it,” she said. The cancer diagnosis adds a sense of mission to her work at the foundation, she said.

The mission of the foundation is to raise money to buy medical equipment for Tulare Regional Medical Center, and the purpose of the gala is to raise money for equipment.

“We deserve to have state-of-the-art equipment,” she said.

“An Evening with the Great Gatsby” will take place at the Tulare Veterans Memorial Building. There will be a live orchestra and ballroom dance performances.

It’s a black tie event. Tickets are $150 each, and hospital employees get a discount. Information: 559-685-3438 or the foundation website at http://bit.ly/1WPtPPq.

“This Gatsby-inspired event has been a brainchild of mine for years, but remained elusive until now,” Smith said. “Tulare deserves to celebrate the evening in style, in a grand way, and for a great purpose.”

NINA CLANCY: Nina Clancy of Visalia has been awarded the Service Above Self award by Rotary International. Worldwide, only 150 of the awards are given each year.

The award was given last week as a surprise. Many people knew in advance but kept the secret.

Clancy has been active in the Visalia community and Rotary International.

She started a Montessori preschool and more recently a Montessori elementary school, and she is a former Visalia Unified school board member.

In Rotary, she held leadership positions and served as district governor.

“I’m a behind-the-scenes person in developing leadership in Rotary and helping clubs get started,” she said. “I’m a connector.”

She trains new Rotary Club presidents in the western U.S., and in 2008 went to Angola to help start a sustainable agriculture program involving potatoes that raised incomes for farmers.

PROMOTION: Ron Epp has been promoted to lieutenant at the Visalia Police Department.

He will be the night watch commander.

In 1995, Epp began as a police officer. In 2002, he was promoted and assigned to patrol and traffic.

In 2007, he was promoted to sergeant in patrol and narcotics and was named rangemaster. Epp has been a member of the SWAT team for 19 years.

Epp holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a master of science degree in criminology.

He is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute and the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership program.

Lewis Griswold covers the news of the South Valley for The Bee: 559-441-6104, lgriswold@fresnobee.com, @fb_LewGriswold