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Friends Gala Surpasses Expectations

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American Family Children's HospitalMADISON – More than 900 guests gathered at the Monona Terrace on Saturday evening, February 9, for a gala to benefit the American Family Children’s Hospital. The theme of the evening was "Fathom the Future," and thanks to the generosity of attendees, more than $360,000 was raised, ensuring the future will become reality.
 
Making Dreams Reality

Hosted by the Friends of UW Hospital and Clinics, the event included silent and live auctions accompanied by cocktails and dinner. And the highlight of the evening was guest speaker Robert Ballard, the renowned deep-sea explorer. Dr. Ballard, best known for his discovery of the Titanic, spoke about his adventures in exploring the earth’s oceans.
 
"His stories of discovery and the use of cutting-edge technology to explore the uncharted is a great message for what the American Family Children’s Hospital is about," said Beth Blum, director of annual giving for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. "It’s about never ceasing in the exploration of the unknown and always looking towards the future; following dreams and making them reality."

The original goal of the evening was to raise $300,000 to support the American Family Children’s. That goal was surpassed, with nearly $200,000 raised from the evening’s live auction and donation bidding alone.

"The success of the evening was beyond our wildest dreams," said Ann Green, president of Friends. "Everyone from the community coming together to build awareness of the incredible services and programs available at the American Family Children’s Hospital – it’s just fantastic."

Accomplishing Goals
 
The gala was the third such event hosted by the Friends group. In 2002, the Friends committed to raising $1 million in support of the American Family Children’s Hospital through three gala events. This was the final gala and the group has indeed met their goal.

"[The Friends] are an amazing group of dedicated and passionate volunteers whose work helps to improve the lives of our patients and their families," noted Blum.

Green concurs.

"The 30 women who put together this incredible event are such a dynamic group of people," Green said. "We’ve had tremendous support from UW Health staff who really helped make everything possible. And we are truly grateful for the support of [chief operating officer] Peg Van Bree."

The Friends of UW Hospital and Clinics work to help patients and their families through a variety of programs. Funds raised through this latest gala will support the second phase of construction at the American Family Children’s Hospital, including a radiology and imaging center, operating rooms and an inpatient surgical unit, as well as programs and services directly benefiting patients and their families. To learn more, visit www.uwhealth.org/kids.
 

Date Published: 02/20/2008


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