Mountainside, NJ: Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation celebrated the 30th anniversary of their annual Umbrella Gala at WTC860 in New York City on October 27. This year’s event honored the leadership of Eric Jensen of Michael Riesz and Co., Inc. and volunteers, Nick and Fran Boccella for their over 20 years of service to the organization. The gala raised over $340,000 supporting access for children and families with special health care needs.
Eric Jensen accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Michael Riesz and Co., Inc. recognizing the organization’s completion of more than 30 construction projects for Children’s Specialized Hospital. Jensen, a long-time supporter, also served as co-chair of the Foundation’s Golf Open, helping to raise more than $100,000 in support of community recreation programs at the hospital.
“It is so wonderful to see Michael Riesz and Co., Inc. receive this award,” said Warren E. Moore, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Specialized Hospital. “Eric’s leadership in the expansion of our outpatient sites, his understanding of the needs of the patients, and creativity in developing solutions have been invaluable.”
Distinguished Individual Honorees, Nick and Fran Boccella, residents of Chatham, NJ, were recognized for their outstanding commitment to bettering the lives of patients and families at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Nick Boccella has served on the Foundation Board for over 15 years and Fran Boccella has dedicated countless volunteer hours to improving the lives of patients at the hospital’s Long Term Care Unit in Mountainside, New Jersey.
“The Boccella’s are a part of the fabric of Long Term Care at Children’s Specialized Hospital,” said Rayna Correia, therapy supervisor at Children’s. “Fran is not just a volunteer and Nick is not just a board member. They are our family.”
“It’s an incredible honor to celebrate two of our most treasured donors,” said Philip Salerno, III, chief development officer and president, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation. “Eric Jensen of Michael Riesz and Co., and Nick and Fran Boccella share a passion for helping children most in need. Their generosity through time, talent and treasure has a profound impact on the 30,000 children with special health needs we treat each year.”
Gala attendees also heard from former patient, Daniel Rosenberg, and his parents Jayne Roberman and Alan Rosenberg of Brooklyn, NY, who shared Daniel’s story of living with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare peripheral nervous system disorder that caused full paralysis not once, but twice. In speaking of his care at the hospital, Rosenberg said, “Children’s Specialized Hospital is the gold standard, not only for what a hospital should be, but what a home and a family should be as well.”
Over 300 guests came out to celebrate Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation on Friday night. Major sponsors of the evening include C.R. Bard, Deloitte, Investors Bank, L’Oréal USA Operations, Michael Riesz and Co., Inc., PSE&G, and Scientific Design.
“Children’s Specialized Hospital works like a well-run team. I’m proud to be associated with such a winning organization that tirelessly works to support patients in need of care,” says Jennifer Moore, gala committee chair. “The committee has generously donated their time to make this gala a huge win for the kids.”
Moore was joined by co-chairs Barbara and Paul Krieger and committee members: Darlene Carr, Jackie Escobar, Todd Garner, Karen Hess, Morris Lenczicki, Stella Matteace-Esposito, John Nietzel, Shannon Pereira, Claire Shevlin, Dan Spicehandler, Shelby Tewell and Christine Tricarico.
Children’s Specialized Hospital, a nonprofit organization, is leading the way into a brighter future for children and adolescents facing special health challenges – from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation supports the programs and services of the hospital and all donations go directly to helping us pioneer new specialized care and serve more children in need. To help, or for more information: visit www.childrens-specialized.org; find us on Facebook: /childrensspecialized, or follow us on Twitter @ChildrensSpecNJ.
photo caption: Members of the L’Oréal USA Operations team celebrating at Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation's 30th Annual Umbrella Gala at WTC860 in New York, NY on October 27,2017.