The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this weekend celebrated its annual fundraising gala, An Evening for Hope, drawing a sold-out crowd of nearly 800 government and industry attendees and raising a record $892,000. The Gala donates all net proceeds to The Children’s Inn whose mission is to reduce the burden of illness and empower the work of NIH clinicians who work tirelessly to find treatments and cures for life-threatening childhood diseases.
“It is honor to be a part of this community and healthcare ecosystem, and I am inspired by all of the generosity of the people who joined together for a great cause,” said Todd Pantezzi, 2016 An Evening for Hope Gala Chair & Senior Vice President, ICF International. “It is not everyday that families from The Inn, supporters and sponsors get to celebrate together and recognize the bravery of the children and their families, as well as the work of The Inn.”
The Inn is a non-government nonprofit providing ‘A Place Like Home’ for children and their families while participating in clinical trials at 15 of the 27 research institutes and centers at the NIH. The event featured notable speakers and attendees including NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, The Children’s Inn at NIH CEO Jennie Lucca, and a brave and admirable 13-year-old patient named Connor O’Brien.
Connor has neurofibromatosis and stays at The Inn while receiving treatment at the NIH. He has undergone several brain surgeries and despite his tremendously challenging medical condition he conveyed that the staff and fellow residents at The Inn help him with the uncertainty he faces daily. At first, Connor said that he did not recognize his own bravery because he feared the unknown, but he went on to say that he now believes that his bravery comes from facing his fears.
American television news correspondent and author James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel, was the emcee of the event. Musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, formerly with The Doobie Brothers, kicked off the program with an instrumental version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’ In addition, The Capitol Steps performed a comedic parody of the current presidential candidates. Representatives from major federal health agencies were in attendance, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Defense Health Agency (DHA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
*Images courtesy Sage Communications.