Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center Gala Sets Record

Outpouring of donations follows a year of social distancing and canceled events

LEXINGTON Caring for children comes first for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington Corporate Council. Never was that more evident than Saturday, August 21, when the Council helped the medical center raise more than $200,000 toward its mission of providing world-class orthopedic care to children regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

The goal of the Corporate Council is to foster health care excellence for children through philanthropic support of the Lexington medical center.

The 2021 Care for Children Gala included an elegant dinner, cocktails, silent and live auctions and music and dancing with The Sensations. Bill Meck, chief meteorologist for WLEX 18, was the master of ceremonies for the event.

Olivia, a 13-year-old patient at SHCMC in Lexington, spoke about her experience at the medical center. Olivia, who has osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that affects the bones, causing them to be brittle, break easily, and heal slowly, has broken 28 bones in her lifetime.

Despite the broken bones, casts, and surgeries, Olivia remains optimistic.

“Shriners has given me hope, happiness, and confidence,” Olivia said. “Shriners feels like family to me.”

The Corporate Council’s generosity makes helping patients like Olivia and others at SHCMC possible.

“At Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center, our mission is to care for every child who needs it,” said Dale Wallenius, director of philanthropy for the medical center. “No child is ever turned away because of a family’s lack of money, having no health insurance, or having inadequate health insurance. That is made possible by the generosity of donors, like our incredible Corporate Council, who helped us raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to further our mission.”

This year’s gala raised approximately $220,000, a record high for the event and more than twice the event’s fundraising goal.

Tony Lewgood, administrator at Shriners Hospitals for Children Medical Center — Lexington, said the Corporate Council’s fundraising efforts will help the medical center reach more children than ever before.

“Each year, we are honored to care for more than 16,000 patients at our medical center,” Lewgood said. “It is our mission to provide the most amazing care anywhere to even more children from more places. Corporate and individual support is vital to help accomplish this mission.

We are thrilled and humbled by the support shown at this year’s gala. We deeply appreciate the Corporate Council, and our patients do too.”