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Memorial Gala Big Hit Again This Year, Draws Over 900

By Tony Farina

Guests enjoy dinner at Premier Gala for Memorial Medical Center.
Mary Alice Demler (l) mistress of ceremonies, and John Percy, co-chair of Memorial Gala.
Memorial Chairman James Roscetti and Dr. Sujatha Addagatla associate medical director of the Renal Center of Memorial Medical Center.
Timothy Glor, DDS and wife Jackie, enjoy Memorial Gala at Seneca Niagara Casino.
Russell Salvatore, restauranteur and philanthropist, among the guests.

The Premier, an annual black tie dinner benefiting the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, was a big hit again this year as 910 people at $225 per ticket packed the Seneca Niagara Events Center Saturday night for the gala event.

Guests at this important event were a veritable “who’s who” of Niagara Falls and the entire region with State Senator George Maziarz remarking that the turnout was even “more impressive than last year.”

Since 2004, the annual gala and silent auction has raised more than $1 million for the hospital, according to Ann Marie Tucker, President of the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Foundation, which sponsors the fund-raiser.

This year’s honorees were Dr. Michael Cropp, President of Independent Health, and the nursing staffs of Memorial and the Schoellkopf Health Center, each receiving special recognition from the podium in the introductory remarks by Joseph Ruffolo, president of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

In his prepared speech, Ruffolo thanked the supporters of the event for helping the medical center “continue a journey of immeasurable worth—the transformation of Memorial to a center for community health and wellness.”

Ruffolo praised Dr. Cropp’s leadership in the changing face of health care by supporting institutions like Memorial and touching the lives of 375,000 Independent Health subscribers. He also praised “our dedicated nurses,” who he said “provide compassionate care to our patients every day. Many of them have dedicated their lives to their patients—one in four has served Memorial for more than 25 years.”

In the last several years, according to Ruffolo, Memorial has invested over $50 million in improving infrastructure, advanced technology, and new and expanded programs in primary care, cardiac and stroke treatment, robotic surgery and women’s health services. But Ruffolo also added that there is much more to come:

“We are about to embark on a major initiative to raise $3 million for the development of a new, 26 bed inpatient cardiac/stroke center that will feature smart room technology, a family resource center, and rehabilitation services on the unit, and is designed to bring nurses closer to their patients.”

Memorial is the only hospital in Niagara Falls, a city where the poor and elderly make up more than half the population. It provides more than $4 million annually in uncompensated care to patients.

Co-chairs of the 2013 Premier were Anu and Komal Chandan, John Percy and Russell Hurlburt. Mary Alice Demler, anchor and reporter at Buffalo’s WGRZ-TV, Ch. 2, was MC of the latin and tropical flavored event, featuring headliner Jon Secada and performances by the Baila Salsa Dance Company with music by Soul Committee.

Among the silent auction items up for bid Saturday night was a signed photograph of the Falls by Nik Wallenda who thrilled the entire world last summer with his historic walk across the mighty Niagara.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jan 22 , 2013