Medical Students Raise $92,000 with Lubbock City Lights Charity Gala

people attending a silent auction for Lubbock City Lights

School of Medicine students raised more than $92,000

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) medical students raised more than $92,000 with the 2023 Annual Lubbock City Lights Charity Gala April 1. This year’s Lubbock City Lights theme was, “Night on the Bayou,” and marked the first in-person gala since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

Lauren Conkin and Matthew Li served as the executive co-chairs for this year’s event. Other committee members include Taru Bharadwaj, Benjamin Lin, Megan Mai, Rorie Brister and Mallory Jenkins from the Class of 2025, and Rachel McLelland and Jaylyn Robinson from the Class of 2026.

“These medical students work tirelessly throughout the year to help impact our community in a positive way,” Steven L. Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president and School of Medicine dean said.  “What a privilege it is to give back to our community for all it gives to the School of Medicine with respect to teaching students and residents.” 

Dean Berk in group photo with School of Medicine students for Lubbock City Lights

This year marked the first in-person gala since the COVID-19 pandemic

Medical students began the Lubbock City Lights tradition in 1997. Since then, more than $1 million has been raised to help numerous local charities and organizations in the West Texas community.
“We are extremely thankful for the TTUHSC and Lubbock community, University Medical Center and the local businesses who supported Lubbock City Lights to make it a success,” McLelland said. “As medical students we prepare for a profession that emphasizes service to others. This event provided an opportunity to support deserving charities that provide such valuable services for the Lubbock community.”

All proceeds from the 2023 event and the auctions will go to five local charities:

  • The Free Clinic, a TTUHSC School of Medicine student-run initiative that offers medical services, health education and social resource counseling to the uninsured community of Lubbock every Wednesday. 
  • Voice of Hope, which provides victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault and/or sex trafficking in Lubbock County and the surrounding communities with free, confidential crisis assistance, advocacy and support and promotes public awareness of the realities of sexual victimization and strives towards its elimination through outreach, activism and community education.
  • Grace Campus, a six-month transitional homeless shelter that instills value and equips the homeless in the Lubbock community and provides homeless individuals access to basic necessities/resources so they can focus on getting back on their feet. There are typically 75-90 individuals at Grace Campus.
  • CASA of the South Plains, which empowers Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers to ensure the needs of each child remain a priority in an over-burdened child welfare system while working to find safe, permanent homes for these most vulnerable children.
  • High Point Village, a non-profit organization developed to provide an enrichment facility and residential living community for individuals with special needs by providing a variety of vocational, educational, social and motivational programs and activities.

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