Catholic business leaders at work: Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California to host 11th Annual Champions Gala

The Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California will celebrate its 11th Annual Champions Gala on October 1 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The event will raise critical funds for the free medical clinic, which recently surpassed a decade in operations and more than 35,000 patient visits. This year’s event theme will honor the “spirit of the volunteer,” a celebration of the contributions of the 50+ volunteer physicians, nurses, staff and board members that power the Clinic. 

“The Champions Gala is an evening of charity and recognition,” said John Christian, KM, Board chair of the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California. “It’s an opportunity for our community to support the Clinic’s life-saving work, and an opportunity for our organization to celebrate the individuals who are championing our mission of upholding human dignity and caring for people in need.” Christian noted that the event is the Clinic’s most important fundraiser and will support the expansion of services for a growing patient base. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen 25 percent growth in patient visits and increased demand for specialized treatment and care. This event will provide us with funding for extended operating hours and resources for specialty clinic services like podiatry, ophthalmology and women’s health,” he added. 

The event program will honor L.J. Michael Lambert, KM, and Betty Ann Lambert, DM (posthumously) with the distinguished Silver Chalice awards, presented by Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. The Lamberts have been long-time supporters of the Clinic and Mr. Lambert is a founding member of both the Board and the Champions Gala.

“The awards dinner will recognize the Lamberts for their volunteer leadership and contributions to the Clinic over the years. Their commitment to serving the uninsured has been a driving force in the Clinic’s long-term success,” said Sara Cumbelich, event chair and Clinic Board member. “We look forward to honoring them and the many other volunteers that are making a difference in the community.” Cumbelich added that the Clinic continues to make the most of contributions and resources. “We are able to allocate 90 cents of every donated dollar to patient care, a value significantly greater than the industry average. And our passionate team of volunteers, which continues to grow by 40 percent year-over-year, help us maintain a low-cost, sustainable practice focused on what matters most – our patients.”

The event begins at 6 pm and will include silent and live auctions. Tickets and sponsorship information are available on the Clinic’s website at:

What is the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California?

Founded in 2008, the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California is a nonprofit medical clinic located in Oakland, California. With financial support from the Order of Malta, the Clinic provides free on-site preventative health care services and treatment to uninsured and low-income patients. The Clinic has a volunteer staff comprised of more than 50 volunteer physicians and nurses, with more than 35,000 patient visits to date.

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