First WVU Medicine Children’s Gala since 2020 raises $1.4M

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The first WVU Medicine Children’s Gala since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic raised $1.4 million to benefit West Virginia children and their families. The ballroom of the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place decorated for the WVU Medicine Children’s Gala

The gala returned Friday, May 20, at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place, with a timely theme following its cancellation in 2021 due to the pandemic – “A Night of Hope.” About 1,200 people attended the black-tie event, which included a cocktail reception, silent auction, live entertainment, dinner, and more.

All proceeds from the event, minus expenses, support the WVU Medicine Children’s mission to build healthier futures for our children.

“We are so grateful for the dedicated supporters who have made this gala successful for 18 years,” Amy L. Bush, B.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., C.N.O.R., WVU Medicine Children’s chief operating officer, said. “Their generosity helps to ensure we can provide the very best lifesaving care for our region’s sick and injured children. It’s particularly exciting to welcome everyone back this year as we look forward to the fall opening of our state-of-the-art new hospital, which is in many ways a testament to the incredible support of the WVU Medicine Children’s family.”

Entertainer Joey Fatone, who rose to fame in the boy band *NSYNC, served as evening’s emcee, and the band Party on the Moon provided live entertainment. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® Champion Child Baylee Millett, who conquered cancer with help from WVU Medicine Children’s, participated in the festivities, which also honored the memory of founding WVU Medicine Children’s medical director William A. “Bill” Neal, M.D.

Pediatrician Renee Saggio, M.D., received the WVU Medicine Children’s Award, and pediatric orthopedic surgeon John Lubicky, M.D., received the Champion for Children Award.

Entrepreneur Steve Antoline and WVU football legend Jeff Hostetler shared the Community Service Award, which recognized their efforts to aid communities throughout the state and support the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital as co-chairs of the “Grow Children’s” capital campaign. The new nine-story, 150-bed hospital is under construction next to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital on WVU Medicine’s main campus in Morgantown.

A total of 87 sponsors contributed to the $1.4 million fundraising total, including top-level sponsors 84 Lumber and Nemacolin, Friends of WVU Hospitals, the Hayhurst family, Iron Senergy, McKamish Inc., Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place, Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration, and United Sound.

Stacy Shearer and Victoria Shuman served as co-chairs of the gala, while David A. Rosen, M.D., and the Rosen Family Foundation led the fundraising effort as the presenting sponsors. Dr. Rosen is a pediatric anesthesiologist at WVU Medicine Children’s and professor and vice chair of research for the WVU School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology.

“We have been supporting the care of children for several years,” Rosen said. “Our goal is to give children impacted by sickness the best gift possible – a lifetime of adventures.”

All gala contributions were made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities. Visit childrens.wvumedicine.org/giving to learn more about making a gift to WVU Medicine Children’s.

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