Our seventh annual Saving Grace dinner gala fundraiser took place in Manhattan on the evening of Saturday, November 12. It was simply a wonderful evening, replete with raw emotion, inspirational stories, hope and gratitude. Together with The Foundation for America's Blood Centers, another worthy charity dedicated to saving the lives of mothers and babies, we reached a broad and extremely engaged audience of almost 500 guests. With the support of so many individuals and our event sponsors - Johnson & Johnson, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Merck, Abbott and many others - we grossed nearly $550,000 to support the vital missions of our organizations!
Our theme this year was expanded from our traditional 'A Night of Hope' to 'A Night of Hope and Gratitude,' to reflect the hope we derive from, and the gratitude we express toward, our esteemed medical researchers and practitioners and our life-saving blood donors. We were honored to hear a keynote address from Dr. James N. Martin, Jr., President of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecologists (ACOG). In his remarks, Martin emphasized the need to generate more research about preeclampsia, as well as to translate existing research into actual clinical practice, both priorities for his ACOG presidency. This drive for increased research and improving patient care was also reflected in the honoring of four New York area physicians, who have shown exemplary dedication to maternal-fetal healthcare, including Drs. Phyllis August, Mary E. D'Alton, Andrei Rebarber, and Daniel Skupski.
I also want to emphasize the point that our volunteer community (all of you!) instills hope for the future through your varied projects, initiatives and stalwart dedication to our mission and values. For this, I want to express my deep and most sincere gratitude. Thank you! And special thanks and congratulations to the recipient of the 2011 Preeclampsia Foundation Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year Becky Sloan, for her exceptional work as National Walk Director of the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia!
Our Mistress of Ceremonies was a familiar face in tri-state broadcast news. Diana Williams, an award-winning reporter and anchor for WABC-TV Eyewitness News, brought a great energy and even some relevant "breaking news" of her own. Attendees enjoyed musical performances by the award-winning New Jersey Youth Chorus and Jim Papoulis, a well-known musical composer and conductor. Their performance was highlighted by the evening's theme song, composed by Mr. Papoulis and fittingly titled "Saving Grace."
The collective hard work of these individuals and volunteers like all of you has helped to make the Preeclampsia Foundation what it is today: (1) a vital information and educational resource for those women affected by hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and their caregivers, and (2) a sponsor and funding source for innovative research into the cause and cure of the disease.
The very best to you and your families this holiday season!
Chairman, Board of Directors