Members of the National Charity League Juniors of San Marino donned their most elegant attire for a glamorous night at the Jonathan Club to raise money for Huntington Hospital.
The league’s largest fundraiser of the year happened Saturday, March 12 with a theme of “Midnight Masquerade.”
“It went very well,” NCL Juniors Publicity Chair Lora Wagner said. “Revenue exceeded expectations. That’s always a good thing.”
The gala chairs were Jennifer Rogers and Jill Werden, who came up with and announced the event in June 2015.
“They wanted something that was colorful and glamorous with a hint of mystery,” Wagner said. “It all came together with the Masquerade Ball idea. Both of the co-chairs have these very vivacious and effervescent personalities. When they announced it, it made perfect sense that they came up with that idea.”
This year’s gala honoree was Dr. Jamie Powers, who is a neonatologist and medical director of Huntington’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“I was really touched and humbled that that the NCL Juniors chose me this year to receive the President’s Award,” Powers said. “Having so many of my friends and colleagues from Huntington there to share the evening with me made the night particularly special. Even more so, though, was having the opportunity to stand in front of the members of the NCL Juniors and their friends and family and be able to say, on behalf of the families of Huntington, a sincere thank you for their tireless hours spent raising funds to benefit our tiniest patients. There are no words to express our eternal gratitude for their generosity over the years.”
“Every year, we try to highlight and draw attention to people at the hospital and in our community of donors who really exemplify the mission of our organization and the work that’s done at Huntington Hospital for NICU and PICU,” Wagner said.
She said Powers represents Huntington Hospital’s delivery of compassionate care in the community.
“Usually she takes us on the tour of the NICU,” Wagner said. “She walks us through what’s happing there and makes a point to show how our philanthropic dollars are going to work for the babies and the families there. Sometimes it’s a piece of equipment that the juniors have purchased. Other times, it’s hearing what the Parent Connection program is doing.”
She said Powers is very familiar to NCL Juniors.
“We’ve come to know her not only as a phenomenal person, but a truly compassionate human being who is passionate about her work and loves what she does,” Wagner said.
When Powers accepted the award at the gala, she also spoke about how a telemedicine cart purchased with funds donated by NCL Juniors was able to help Huntington Hospital patients. The telemedicine cart enables hospital staff to collaborate with specialists around the world via videoconference in addition to allowing medical professionals to share patient photos and information.
Wagner said NCL Juniors hopes to help the hospital purchase another telemedicine cart and are planning to devote some of this year’s funds for a specially sized bronchoscope to use on neonates.
“Every year we set aside a sizable percent to fund the Parent Connections support group,” she said. “That’s been a focus of ours for a decade or more. We try to fully fund that program every year.”
Parent Connection is made up of parent volunteers who have personally experienced the hospitalization of a newborn. They provide support for parents with children in the NICU.
“It’s there for support to those families in all circumstances, when the babies are discharged and also the ones who don’t make it,” Wagner said. “They do so much that people don’t always know about.”