La Rabida Children’s Hospital to host annual gala

Herald Intern

La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 6501 S. Promontory Dr., will host its 31st annual gala on Friday, Nov. 10. The Friends of La Rabida Awards Celebration will take place at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, admission is $500 per person. All proceeds from the evening will go to benefit the organization.

“As our largest fundraising event, the Gala serves as an important component in reaching our financial goals,” said Lona Slaughter, vice president of Development and External Affairs. “It also provides great awareness to the community about who we are and what we do.”

La Rabida Children’s Hospital assists children with lifelong medical conditions. The organization emphasizes its goal to help children and their families regardless of their ability to pay for these health services.

The hospital was erected in 1893 as part of the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition. A gift from the government of Spain, it was designed as a replica of the La Rabida Monastery in southern Spain.

The hospital will recognize two individuals for their support of the children at the hospital and the broader community. Scott Swanson, President of PNC Bank Illinois will receive the “Community Support” award, and John Gyann, CEO of Gycor International Ltd. and a Trustee of the hospital will be honored with the “Lifetime of Service” award.

Swanson served as the leader of PNC Bank’s “Grow Up Great” initiative and has also been involved with other civic and nonprofit boards throughout the Chicago area. Gyann has been a Trustee for 11 years, and was Chairman for five.

“We could not be more proud to recognize their commitment to helping children reach their fullest potential,” Slaughter said.

“We are pleased and proud to honor the work of these passionate individuals and commendable organizations, whose commitment to help the children of La Rabida and the greater community are exemplary,’’ La Rabida CEO Brenda Wolf said in a written statement.

A cocktail reception will kick off the evening at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 8 p.m. Live and silent auctions will be held throughout the evening, with ABC7 anchor Ravi Baichwal returning to take on emcee duties for the evening. Entertainment and refreshments will follow the dinner.

“The Gala is a great opportunity to showcase who we are and what we do,” Salughter said. “Introducing patients and their families to our guests is always inspiring and has been mutually beneficial.  Families appreciate the opportunity to participate and share their stories and donors are moved in hearing first-hand the impact of their support.”