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Come to Iowa City for Saving Grace -- A Night of Hope

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 04, 2013

This year's Saving Grace -- A Night of Hope will feature the Nova Singers, at left.

Iowa City is a special place, offering big-city amenities along with small-town hospitality. Home of the University of Iowa, it has long served as a locus for culture, education, variety and fun. This year's Saving Grace fundraising event, on October 18, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm,  will occur immediately after this year's regional and national Continuing Medical Education (CME) event in conjunction with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. 

At this CME event, more than 200 of the nation's top clinicians will convene under one roof to learn about preeclampsia. Presenters will include the headliners in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (Dr. Ananth Karumanchi, Dr. James Martin, Dr. Thomas Easterling, and more). The day-long national symposium is titled: "Controversies in the Care of Women with Preeclampsia: A National Debate."

This year, Saving Grace -- A Night of Hope will be a more relaxed, business-casual-dress type of affair, with food tastings at multiple food and beverage stations donated by local chefs and served by local Iowa City celebrities. Midway through the evening, attendees will be invited to sit at tables and enjoy scrumptious desserts during a special program, including featured entertainment and the annual Foundation award presentations. 

The featured entertainment, Nova Singers, is a 20-voice ensemble with a nation-wide reputation for expressiveness, virtuosity and innovative programming. Nova Singers has performed at state, regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, has produced six professional recordings and has received numerous grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The site of this year's Saving Grace event is the Coralville Marriott Hotel.      

Heading the planning committee and your hosts for this event are John and Brenda Warner of Walcott, Iowa, and Drs. Mark and Donna Santillan of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Mark Santillan is a researcher in the field of preeclampsia and winner of a Preeclampsia Foundation Vision Grant in 2012. Many of you know the Warners from their years of volunteer service on behalf of the Preeclampsia Foundation. The Warners' daughter, Shelly, died in January of 2005, one week after giving birth to their first grandchild. Shelly was only 25 years old, a fifth grade teacher, and in good health up until the moment preeclampsia suddenly came over her. She died from a severe complication of preeclampsia called HELLP Syndrome.

As a family, the Warners were devastated by their daughter's death, and since then, have organized preeclampsia awareness walks in Davenport, several educational events, and numerous fundraisers. When people ask them why, they say, "If we can save even one family from experiencing what we did, it's worth it."

"In remembering Shelly's bubbly and lively spirit, we want the atmosphere of this event to reflect that spirit. Yes, we know there will be a time for tears, as we will also need to reflect on the reason(s) this event is taking place," said John Warner of the Saving Grave Planning Committee and one of the event's hosts. "We've envisioned having this event in Iowa for nearly 3 years, so that all those who have been so supportive over the years of our efforts in the Davenport Quad Cities can have the opportunity to experience this event 'in their own back yard.' And, given all that the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics tried to do to save Shelly's life, and their ongoing efforts in preeclampsia education and research, it's a perfect fit!" 

The Warners and Santillans want everyone in the Preeclampsia Foundation community and their guests to know that ALL are welcome to Saving Grace -- A Night of Hope. This will be a time for sharing, socializing around a common cause, and raising funds to help make a difference.

Travel and accommodation planning tips are posted on SavingGrace.Preeclampsia.org. "So come one and all, from all over the country, and enjoy our genuine Midwestern hospitality," said John Warner. "Meet others who have been affected by preeclampsia, their families and friends, and Preeclampsia Foundation leadership. So often, we who have been deeply and dramatically touched by preeclampsia, are in need of fellowship with those who care. Here's a wonderful opportunity to make new friends for life. We are really excited about this year's event and the relaxed, fun occasion this promises to be." 

Purchase your tickets online now: $50 (standard) or $100 (VIP), and meet us in Iowa on October 18 for a memorable, meaningful evening.

 

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