Patch Adams, portrayed in the 1998 movie of the same name, was the featured speaker at this year's fundraiser at Giovanni's. The eccentric personality spoke about healing through humor, his trademark vision of health care.
Organizers say Rockford's latest low health ranking shows we need to turn things around or we all pay for the consequences.
"[Adams] really helps us understand that if we don't laugh at ourselves, if we do not live life with the idea that it's humorous, and if we don't love people, then we're not going to get to that transformation," says YMCA President and CEO Mike Brown.
The money raised Thursday night helps to fund The Y's campaign for advocacy, dance and disease prevention.