They came as Batman and Robin, Leia and Luke, and even The Thing.

Over 270 comic characters filled the Delta Bessborough in Saskatoon on October 18 for the Royal University Hospital Foundation (RUHF) 16th annual Royal Ball.

This year’s event, dubbed the Royal Comicon Ball, netted $110,000 for Physician Fellowship Training at Royal University Hospital, surpassing the goal of $100,000 set by the RUHF.

People dressed as characters from the Star Wars movies.

Star Wars characters were among the many who made an appearance at the Royal University Hospital Foundation Royal Comicon Ball on October 18. The event raised $110,000 for physician fellowship training at RUH.

Since 2005, the RUH Foundation and other partners have funded 20 Fellowships for a total of 30 years of training in areas such as Critical Care Neurology, Cardiac Electrophysiology, Pediatric Surgery, Neuroendovascular Intervention and Geriatric Psychiatry.

“These specialists have returned to Saskatoon to practice and treat patients, which is good news for our community as patients and their families do not have to leave the province,” said Shari Bedient, volunteer co-chair of the Royal Ball.

“The support we received from sponsors and attendees ensures that we are able to support Dr. Mary Kinloch’s Gynecology Pathology Fellowship Training in Vancouver,” added co-chair Laurie Karwacki.

Three women in comic book costumes.

Candace Boersma, Shari Bediant and Arla Gustafson of the RUH Foundation pose for a photo in their costumes at the Royal Comicon Ball on October 18.

Not everyone dressed according to a  comic-book theme, which was chosen by the volunteer organizing committee, but about 80 per cent did. The other 20 per cent dressed in business or formal wear.

Batman and Robin

Batman, Robin and many of their comic book counterparts attended the Royal University Hospital Foundation Royal Comicon Ball.

“We do encourage people to dress to the theme. We even have a link on our website to give costume ideas,” noted Arla Gustafson of the RUH Foundation. “We were ecstatic with the uptake we got from those who attended.”

Dressing in costume has been a growing trend for those who attend the ball every year, Gustafson reported.

“Every year for the past 16 years this event has had a different theme,” Gustafson said. “Each year more and more people dress in costume, as individuals or teams.”

Sponsors of the event included PotashCorp, Department of Surgery, Dr. Jawed Akhtar and Zeba Ahmad, Cameco Corporation, RBC Wealth Management – PH&N Investment Counsel, S.O. Asher Consultants, Westcap Mgt. Ltd., Schaan Healthcare Products, the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Handy Special Events, Delta Bessborough, Novatex Graphics, Saskatoon Express, Saskatoon Fastprint, and Barndog Productions.

This year, a raffle for a chance to win one return trip for two to any scheduled WestJet destination and a 18 kt yellow gold diamond pendant – total prize value over $5,000 compliments of WestJet and Maison Birks, was held and the winner was Triant Stuartt.

In the past 31 years, the RUHF has raised and invested, through the generosity of donors, $95 million for research, education and patient care at Royal University Hospital.

A man dressed as The Thing.

The Thing from The Fantastic Four was among the crowd of 270 who attended the Royal University Hospital Foundation Royal Ball this year.