34th Annual enCourage Kids Gala
On Thursday, March 21st, 2019, the 34th Annual enCourage Kids Gala at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square was sold out to a standing room only crowd. Ryan Field, ABC 7 Sports Anchor emceed the highly attended gala and Michele Hall Duncan, CEO & President honored top real estate executives Kevin M. Donner, Executive Managing Director – Cushman & Wakefield and Jason D. Hernandez, Managing Director – Head of Originations, Debt, Americas, Nuveen Real Estate. Other notable guests included Super Bowl Champion Howard Cross, NFL Legend Erik Coleman, Singer/Songwriter/Actor DeeMo and American Boxer Monte Barrett.
During the gala, there was a beautiful presentation by a young lady named Ketrina Hazell, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 9 months old. In a wonderful teary speech, Ketrina said, "I have never stopped dreaming big. Today, I am breaking barriers. I am a high school graduate, and I attended college for two years even though I was told I belonged in a day program." These courageous words echoed the message that no matter what hardships come your way, with persistence and hard work, you can still live your dream.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity and support of all of the attendees this year. We raised over one million dollars,” stated Michele Hall Duncan. “The funds raised will help serve thousands of sick children across the country.” “Many thanks to all who supported the enCourage Kids 34th Annual Gala. Special thanks to our host, Ryan Field from WABC 7 who did a fantastic job helping us raise over $1 million to support our programs dedicated to helping humanize healthcare for our kids and their families! A truly special and very rewarding evening,” stated Joe Wessely, Chair enCourage Kids.
Guests enjoyed a delicious 3-course dinner, open bar and music by the Live Wire Entertainment and the Community Partner Award went to LOG-ON.
While in the hospital, there are many things that make pediatric patients feel scared and isolated. But, YOU can make a difference. Entertainers may make magic for a living, but YOU create the real magic by helping transform sickness into laughter. YOU can support by donating or attending a future event.
Looking ahead, the enCourage Kids organization will host other fun and exciting fundraising events.
Starry Night – Tuesday, May 7 – 6:30pm-9:30pm – 230 Fifth Rooftop – 230 Fifth Avenue. Hosted by the enCourage Kids Young Professionals Committee, Starry Night raises funds for vital programs that offer relief from the constant burden of treatment, hospital stays and doctor appointments for sick kids.
Serving Up Smiles – Tuesday, October 22 – A night of fine cuisine, wine, and spirits. Throughout the evening, attendees will have the opportunity to taste spectacular cuisine, world-class wines, and specialty cocktails while enjoying live music and an exciting silent auction, all to benefit enCourage Kids.
About enCourage Kids
For 34 years, enCourage Kids Foundation has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. Serving more than 400,000 children annually, our programs offer relief from the constant burden of treatment, hospital stays, and doctor appointments, while also helping pediatric facilities to meet the unique needs of their patients. enCourage Kids Foundation envisions a world where every child–regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey—experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing.