Heroes Ball Raises Nearly $1 Million for Hasbro Children’s Hospital
In celebration of the patients and families who serve as inspirational heroes and the multitude of community heroes who make a profound difference in their lives, Hasbro Children’s Hospital recently welcomed 700 friends and supporters to the Rhode Island Convention Center for the Heroes Ball.
Held on Saturday, March 4, the hospital’s signature annual event raised nearly $1 million in support of patient care, lifesaving programs, research, education, and the hospital’s Children’s Integrative Therapy Pain Management and Supportive Care (CHIPS) Program for children with complex, chronic conditions.
Chaired by Robert Vincent, Executive Vice President of Administrative Services and External Relations for IGT, and his wife, Grace, the Heroes Ball opened with a cocktail reception before guests were welcomed to the ballroom by Roger Begin, Chairman of the Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees. Chairman of the Lifespan Board of Directors Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr. shined a spotlight on the evening’s focus and introduced young performers Molly Wren, 13, and Thomas Simonetti, 12, who sang a rendition of Mariah Carey’s song Hero.
Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital addressed the guests next. “Quite simply, we wouldn’t be the hospital we are today without all of you, our heroes. For all that you do for our patients and families, for our hospital and for our community, you have my deepest gratitude.”
During her time on stage, Dr. Van Bree was joined by 5-year-old Kyrie White, the hospital’s 2016-2017 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Champion Child, who quickly endeared himself to the crowd as guest emcee. A patient of Hasbro Children’s Hospital since birth, Kyrie is spending the year highlighting the hospital’s work on the national stage as an ambassador for the importance of funding pediatric care and research.
Following Dr. Van Bree and Kyrie, Cynthia Stern Lynch took to the podium to introduce a MOVING VIDEO that featured two patients who are part of the CHIPS program. Cynthia was a driving force in the establishment of the program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital several years ago, which provides comfort to patients by meeting the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of children with limiting or life-threatening illnesses.
With nary a dry eye in the house, Phyllis A. Dennery, MD, Pediatrician-in-Chief of Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and Francois I. Luks, MD, PhD, Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s Interim Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief, spoke about the daily impact of the CHIPS program before professional auctioneer Paul Zekos of The Zekos Group presented the event’s live auction and “Fund-a-Need” blitz.
“Working with children and families facing chronic illnesses takes very special people and a thoroughly integrative approach with every facet of our hospital,” said Dr. Dennery. “The impact of this work is not just for a moment in time—it is enduring, and the bonds grow so deep that the children and their families become like second families to us.”
Added Dr. Luks, “Above all, our goal is to help children live as pain-free as they can, and as tonight’s video showed, there are many ways to do this beyond medication. The CHIPS team never stops working—they are literally always on call, making sure the experience for the patient is the best one possible.”
Among the many exciting auction items to generate intense, yet friendly bidding wars, were four tickets to see sold-out Hamilton in New York City with hotel accommodations for two nights, and three distinct weeklong getaways, including trips to Tuscany, Italy; Costa Rica; and scenic Telluride, Colorado.
After the evening’s live auction and “Fund-a-Need,” guests danced the night away to the sounds of Sugarbabies of Boston, including a special performance of Play that Funky Music, which featured members of hospital leadership joining the musical action on stage.
The Heroes Ball was made possible thanks to presenting sponsors CVS Health and IGT; platinum sponsor KPMG; gold sponsors ALEX AND ANI Charity by Design, H. Carr & Sons, Inc., The Procaccianti Group, Swarovski, and Tufts Health Plan among the more than seven dozen sponsors who contributed generously to the event’s success.