Children's Hospital Miracle Luncheon Celebrates Patients and Supporters
UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital will honor five children who have defied the odds and pay tribute to several supporters who have gone above and beyond at the annual Celebration of Miracles Luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 25, at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
The event is presented by J.T. Mauro Co. Inc., and celebrates four “Miracle Makers” — community groups and supporters who have worked hand-in-hand with Golisano Children’s Hospital to provide the best possible care for this generation and the next. Five “Miracle Kids” will also be honored for overcoming especially serious or complex challenges, and are representatives for the thousands of children seen at the hospital each year.
The 2017 Miracle Maker Award recipients:
Outstanding Commitment by an Individual: Dr. Nina Schor
Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D., has been the face of Golisano Children’s Hospital since she was appointed Chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 2006. The department experienced tremendous growth during her tenure, adding divisions in palliative care, allergy, sleep medicine, and hospitalist medicine. And, of course, the new Golisano Children’s Hospital building was built under her watchful eye. Schor is stepping down from her position this summer; Golisano Children’s Hospital will miss her guidance and wisdom.
Outstanding Commitment by a Community Group: Battle of the Beaks
Ten years ago, Nazareth and St. John Fisher started playing basketball against each other in the hopes of raising money for Golisano Children’s Hospital. They’ve continued this tradition, which they labeled “Battle of the Beaks” every year since, and have combined to raise more than $120,000. Throughout the year, students on both campuses sell T-shirts, host a student-athlete semi-formal, and an annual Winter Walk.
Outstanding Commitment by a Community Partner: Lauren Dixon and Michael Schwabl
Dixon Schwabl has produced videos for the children’s hospital gala for more than a decade, helping to tell the stories of countless patients and families. The company, a Rochester marketing and communications agency, also participates in Extra Life, a 24-hour gaming marathon that supports Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Outstanding Commitment by Grateful Parents: Jennifer and Vinnie Esposito
“Amazing” Grace Esposito was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia in 2011, fighting on for a year and a half, before losing her battle in February 2013. In her memory, Jennifer and her colleagues at 13WHAM led the creation of Grace’s Garden, committing $350,000, and the Espositos also fulfilled a $100,000 pledge along with Rochester-area Kiwanis clubs to support a NICU room in Grace’s name. Jennifer, who serves on the hospital’s board of directors, also joins with several other local media members to host the children’s hospital radiothon, which raises several hundred thousand dollars annually.
The 2017 Miracle Kids:
- Ben Tulgan, 1, of Brighton, was born hydropic after just 26 weeks and spent an astounding five months in the NICU before being discharged.
- Lauren Gumtow, 10, of Olean, Cattaraugus County, had heart surgery when she was born, and later was the recipient of a new technology to help combat her scoliosis.
- Ian Galek, 2, of Savannah, Wayne County, got a bad infection that required 11 days on a heart- and lung-bypass machine.
- Arianna Stewart, 1, of Pittsford, had a rare cancer called hepatoblastoma that ballooned her liver to the size of a grapefruit.
- Judah Dantonio, 4, of Warsaw, Wyoming County, needed two open-heart surgeries — one just after he was born — to repair a rare congenital heart defect.
Golisano Children’s Hospital employs more than 200 pediatric physicians and specialists and provides a spectrum of care that spans more than 40 specialty areas, serving more than 85,000 children and their families each year. It is the referral center for all seriously ill or injured children from the 17-county Finger Lakes region and beyond.