Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation’s Laughter is the Best Medicine Comedy Gala has been entertaining audiences and raising money for better healthcare in Hunt County for the last decade.

With themes ranging from The Love Boat and the Rat Pack to this year’s diamond-themed anniversary event, the gala requires months of planning in order to deliver a night to remember. But behind the event planning and committee members is an important group that gives much and asks for nothing in return: the event sponsors.

More than $132,000 was raised at last year’s gala. Foundation members hope to see this year’s event raise even more for mobile mammography and the FitSTEPS for Life program thanks to the generous support of this year’s sponsors including the headlining sponsors, Jerry J. Ransom and L-3 Mission Integration (MID) in Greenville.

Ransom’s partnership with the foundation has spanned seven years and has helped shape the foundation into the organization it is today.

Ransom has a long history of community service including serving on the Greenville City Council, GEUS and TMPA boards and as chairman of the utility study committee. He has been actively involved in fundraising projects for the Boy Scouts of America, Tools for School, Hunt Regional Healthcare and First Tee, which teaches life skills and leadership through the game of golf.

Ransom is well known throughout Hunt County for his contributions to the community, both in giving and in business. He first moved to Greenville for a job with E-Systems after receiving his degree in engineering physics from the University of Oklahoma.

While at E-Systems, he contributed to the design and development of reconnaissance and surveillance systems for government agencies.

In 1978, he founded OmniSYS (and predecessor companies) for the purpose of developing and marketing Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT) Systems for Court and Freelance Reporters.

These systems were used by over 8000 reporters nationwide and recorded famous trials such as the “Pizza Connection,” “CBS v. Westmoreland” and O.J. Simpson’s criminal and civil trials.

OmniSYS subsequently developed a number of systems and services for the healthcare industry with its primary focus on reducing the cost of healthcare through technology. One of the products, CareCLAIM, is used by over 25,000 independent, small-to-medium and mega-chain pharmacies nationwide.

“Jerry Ransom’s partnership with the foundation is substantial for both our healthcare system and Hunt County,” says Alicia Wittkopf, executive director of the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation.

“His perpetual giving is a testament to his altruistic spirit and his desire to see Hunt County flourish,” she says.

Also on board as a headlining sponsor for the second consecutive year is L-3 Mission Integration. For more than 60 years, L-3 Mission Integration has been integral to the economic wellness of Hunt County.

Again this year, the defense company has made a strong statement for the physical wellness of the community through its support of the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation.

In the local community, L-3 proudly champions the education and well-being of those in the community through involvement with groups such as the United Way, Special Olympics, Tools for School, DrugFree Greenville, Hunt County Shared Ministries, Senior Center Resources and Public Transit and the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Texas.

This year’s gala will honor friends past and present during the annual presentation of the Harold Curtis Friend of the Foundation Award.

The award is named after Harold Curtis who spent more than 50 years serving as the hospital’s legal counsel and devoted countless hours to helping create the foundation that would contribute to changing the lives of area patients and their families through access to better healthcare in their communities.

Shortly after his death in 2006, an award was created to honor those who have followed his path by dedicating their time, talent and financial resources to meet the needs of others through the foundation.

Past award recipients include Zach Wilson, Wyman Williams, Nita “Tubby” Adkisson, Jack Finney, Scott Weaver, Cullen Family Foundation, Hospital Auxiliary Groups, Mary Rich Lynch, Ron and Julia Wensel, Janeen Cunningham, Don Bolin, Dr. and Mrs. James Sandin, Norma Mitchell and W.D. “Dee” Hilton, Jr.

The Diamond Award—a new award given by the foundation—will also be presented this year to a special individual who has made significant contributions to the foundation. The Diamond Award will recognize one philanthropist for their commitment to the foundation. The names of both award recipients are under close guard and will remain a secret until the night of the event.

The Tenth Annual Laughter is the Best Medicine Comedy Gala will be Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Sam Rayburn Student Center on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

To learn more information about this year’s gala, purchase tickets or join the list of sponsors, visit www.laughteristhebestmedicinegala.com or call 903-408-1068.

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