With Surprise Performance by Jennifer Hudson, Children’s Ball Breaks Fundraising Records

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Jennifer Hudson

The 2014 Children’s Ball on April 11 was one of the most successful charity events ever in Washington, DC — raising $10,734,300 to support pediatric care and research. The star-studded evening featured a surprise performance by Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, a dinner created and prepared by Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Matsuhisa, an exciting live auction, and an after-hours dance party.

“More than ever before, this year’s Ball reflects a truly global vision and partnership to improve the health of children in the United States and around the world,” said Kurt D. Newman, MD, president and CEO of Children’s National. “This unprecedented level of support will enable us to provide the best possible care and develop new therapies and cures for childhood diseases. We are grateful to our co-chairs and our generous sponsors for making the 2014 Children’s Ball such a historic success.”

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Wolfgang Puck and Nobu

The event was chaired by His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S., his wife Abeer, and Amy and Bret Baier, anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Fox News Channel. Both couples have children who have been treated at Children’s National. (Read “Fox News’s Bret Baier Teams Up with UAE Ambassador to Support Children’s National Medical Center” in the Washington Post.)

“There are few other international relationships more important to the UAE than our deep and continuing partnership with Children’s National,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba. “The ground-breaking research at Children’s National is improving care for children from around the world. We are grateful for all of the sponsors who came together to support this important mission.

Bret Baier added, “Amy and I were proud to partner with the Ambassador and Abeer on this special event for a cause that we care deeply about. The funds raised through the Children’s Ball will help children like ours, and will impact the health of children in the Washington area and around the world.”

View photos from the event.

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Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Abeer Al Otaiba, Dr. Kurt Newman, Amy Baier, and Bret Baier

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Entrepreneur and Philanthropist’s Generosity Inspires at Children’s Ball

jho lowJho Low

The 2014 Children’s Ball raised more money than any previous Ball and featured a dinner prepared by celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Nobu and a surprise performance by Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson.  But for many, a highlight of the evening involved a 12-year-old girl, Beyoncé, and a global businessman who had traveled from Asia to attend.

12-year-old Jozlyn Miller, who has sickle cell disease and was treated with a successful bone marrow transplant at Children’s National, had the opportunity to meet noted jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz and create her own designs during a special visit to the hospital last year. Schwartz used Jozlyn’s designs to create 18k gold flower earrings (with natural turquoise, pink opal, diamonds) and matching 18k gold bracelet (with natural turquoise, brown diamonds, brown diamond beads). What made the one-of-a-kind jewelry even more special is that it had been worn recording artist and actress Beyoncé Knowles.

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Lorraine Schwartz’s collaboration with Children’s National has allowed children to design unique jewelry that helped to fund a grant for jewelry and art therapy programs through the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation.

For the live auction at the Children’s Ball, Schwartz had donated this one-of-a-kind set, valued at $40,000. It was one of the most popular items, with bids coming from all parts of the room. In the end, global entrepreneur and philanthropist Jho Low, whose Jynwel Foundation was the evening’s Premier Sponsor, won the item with a bid of $75,000.

Jozlyn, who was in the audience modeling the jewelry, then assisted co-chair and emcee Bret Baier with the evening’s “call for cash,” which helped put the night’s total to more than $10 million. Toward the end of the evening, Mr. Low stunned the 850 attendees, and especially Jozlyn, when he announced that he wanted Jozlyn to keep the jewelry.

After the program had concluded, Mr. Low, Jozlyn and her family, and Lorraine Schwartz had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Hudson. It was a night to remember, and Mr. Low’s gesture was a powerful reminder that the evening was not about food or entertainment, but children.

Jozlyn Miller and Jho Low

Jozlyn Miller and Jho Low

Ben’s Run Raises $65,000+ for Children with Leukemia

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The 4th Annual Ben’s Run to Ben-a-fit for Children’s National raised more than $65,000 to fight childhood leukemia. More than 1,200 participants arrived at Stonegate Elementary in Silver Spring, Md., on April 5 to run the 5K course or participate in the 1-mile fun run/walk.

Created in honor of Ben Goldfogle, Ben’s Run has raised more than $215,000 to fund ground-breaking research and improve the treatment of children with cancer. Visit http://www.bensrun.org/ to learn more.

The Mom Bond: Ball Chairs Amy Baier and Abeer Al Otaiba

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Amy Baier and Abeer Al Otaiba

Amy Baier and Abeer Al Otaiba, who are chairing the 2014 Children’s Ball with their husbands, Bret Baier and Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, share a bond and a commitment to Children’s National because of their personal experiences with their children. Profiled in Washingtonian Moms, Amy and Abeer talk about how their children’s experiences have brought them closer.  “In a town like Washington,” Amy says, “it has been a gift to find a friend that I can be totally authentic with and, at the same time, share something as rare as what we have been through with our children. To help each other is a daily occurrence; to help each other with something like this has been a blessing.”

Read “The Mom Bond: Two Best Friends Learn the Meaning of Being There.”

UAE Partnership Gives New Hope to Sick Children

Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children's National, with His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US

Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National, with His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US

In an April 9 article in The National, Taimur Khan reports on the longstanding partnership of Children’s National with the UAE, the impact of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, and the personal experience that got the Ambassador and his wife even more involved.

“The relationship [with Children’s] is integral,” the Ambassador said. “Health care and education are two of our biggest priorities back home, and we like partnerships where our partners show commitment, and Children’s has definitely shown commitment to the UAE.”

Khan also reports on several initiatives that have improved the health of children in the UAE. “It wasn’t so long ago that Abu Dhabi had infant mortality that they were not happy with,” according to Dr. Gerard Martin, a cardiologist and director of global services at Children’s National. “But now they are beating the US in infant mortality and have made major strides.”

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A Vintage Affair Tops Fundraising Goal with $750,000

France's Ambassador to the United States, François Delattre, and Mrs. Gouri Mirpiro, wife of the Singapore Ambassador to the US, with members of the Board of Visitors and guests.

France’s Ambassador to the United States, François Delattre, and Mrs. Gouri Mirpiro, wife of the Singapore Ambassador to the US, with members of the Board of Visitors and guests.

Nearly 500 guests joined the Board of Visitors of Children’s National at the 17th annual A Vintage Affair benefiting Children’s National on April 5. Held at the French Embassy, the event had a French Country theme, with exquisite wines, inspired cuisine, and a live and silent auction with rare wines, exotic trips, and one-of-a-kind dining experiences. The event surpassed its goal, raising about $750,000.

Funds raised through A Vintage Affair support the Board of Visitors’ annual grants and major gifts program, which helps doctors, nurses, and staff at Children’s National develop and sustain cutting-edge research, innovations, and treatments.

Guests raised their paddles for the “fund in need,” which raised critical funds for pediatric mental health, one of the signature initiatives for Children’s National and its CEO, Dr. Kurt Newman. Specifically, the funds will help launch a bio repository that will house the genetic and proteomic analysis of patient tissue samples. The bio repository, which will be at the core of Children’s National’s new Healthy Mind and Brain Institute initiative, will be used by physicians and scientists to study the connection between a child’s symptoms and diagnosis to their genetic underpinnings. This means that Children’s National will be able to refine and develop new treatments for children — and to tailor care for every child that specifically targets genetic alterations that drive their specific type of illness.

Etihad In Flight Magazine: The Story of Two Families and a Global Partnership

Etihad Airways, one of the top sponsors of the 2014 Children’s Ball and a close partner to Children’s National, reports on the partnership between the UAE and Children’s National in the April issue of its Etihad in Flight magazine. Titled “Caring for Kids,” the article covers the partnership that created the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and other initiatives that benefit children and families in the UAE, the United States, and around the world.

The co-chairs of the 2014 Children’s Ball have personal connections with Children’s National. “I’ve been impressed with the level of care and research,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, “but when my daughter required surgery at just four months of age, I understood even better how much they care. The doctors and nurses treat every child like their own — and that’s almost as important as the excellent medical care.”

In gratitude for their daughter’s successful treatment, the Ambassador and his wife Abeer volunteered to chair the 2014 Ball with their friend Amy and Bret Baier, whose son Paul has undergone three open-heart surgeries at Children’s National. “We share a passion for giving back to this great organization that helped our children,” Baier said.

Click the image to read the article in full size:
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Infographic: Sheikh Zayed Institute Impacts Kids in US, UAE, and Worldwide

Children_27s_5YearsAccomp_5v2With the leadership of His Excellency Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the U.S., his wife Abeer, and Amy and Bret Baier — and the commitment of dozens of U.S. and UAE companies — the 2014 Children’s Ball is positioned for historic success on April 11.

This event is only the latest milestone in the close and special relationship between the UAE and Children’s National, which treats hundreds of Emirati children every year. UAE medical students also train at the hospital, and Children’s National continues to expand its partnerships with UAE medical institutions. For more information, visit the Sheikh Zayed Institute website.

Fight For Children Pledges $100,000 for Asthma Program at Children’s National

Members of the Fight For Children program team and the IMPACT DC team from Children's National.

Members of the Fight For Children program team and the IMPACT DC team from Children’s National.

Fight For Children recently announced partnerships with 10 high-performing nonprofit organizations to support innovative education and healthcare programs serving low-income children in DC. Among those partnerships, Fight For Children pledged $100,000 to Children’s National to enhance its IMPACT DC asthma treatment, prevention, outreach, and education program by extending its reach to children ages 2-5 years and their community-based care providers.

The funds will help the program’s overarching goals to reduce asthma-related emergency room visits, decrease day-to-day asthma crises, and encourage consistent primary care follow-up.  All of these components then lead to children having fewer missed school days and greater academic achievement.

Shenandoah Q102 Cares for Kids Radiothon Raises Nearly $131,000

Q102The Q102 Cares for Kids Radiothon on March 20-21 raised $130,789 for children and families. Broadcast live from the main atrium of Children’s National, the radiothon was led by morning show hosts Chris and Rosie from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm each day.

Throughout the event, volunteers called past radiothon donors in a Thank-A-Thon, and raised an additional $7,000. Patient families shared their inspiring stories and gave testimonials about their experiences in the hospital. In just two years, Q102 has raised over more than $250,000 for Children’s National. Thank you to Shenandoah Country Q102 for making miracles happen for kids!

See photos from the event.