NMA – Give Kids A Shot! Gala Celebration
Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Photo credit: Kari Otero
On May 9, 2016, the National Meningitis Association celebrated their annual GIVE KIDS A SHOT! Gala at The Pierre , honouring Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch with the Nancy Ford Springer Award, Carl Buher and Michael Laforgia with the T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Awards and Paul Lee, MD with the Health Achievement Award.
The evening was jamming with performances by musical guest, actor and singer Darius De Haas, currently featured in Broadway’s “Shuffle Along” and musician and bandleader Tito Puente, Jr.
This year’s event chairs included Lenore Cooney, Sara Herbert-Galloway, Errol Rappaport and Gary Springer. Honourary Chairs included: Ambassador and Mrs. John L. Loeb, Jr., Liv Ullmann and Donald Saunders and Nick Springer.
The celebrated NMA’s silent auction was such absolutely amazing which featured a number of priceless experiences including lunches with award-winning actors like Richard Thomas and James Naughton; tickets to a New York Rangers game, which includes dinner with Hockey Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert; an interactive dolphin experience at Clearwater Marine Aquarium; and an exclusive NASCAR Spring Cup VIP experience complete with access to the Pit, driver meet and greet and a ride in the Pace car.
The NMA President, Lynn Bozof, had this to say
“This year’s honourees truly embody the National Meningitis Association’s mission and we are thrilled to celebrate their extraordinary contributions at this year’s gala. We are thankful to everyone who has given so generously so that we can continue our work to help protect our children from the devastating effects of meningitis,”
Health Achievement Award Recipient Dr. Paul Lee, MD explained “In 2008 a MOM’s meeting helped me to find my voice and work with many people regarding meningitis. He closed his speech by shouting loud and clear “CHILDREN NEED VACCINATIONS!”
“I will try to make sure that I am here every year. I will take this award and put it above my son’s bed because he is the true hero.” Nancy Ford Springer Award recipient, Deion Branch
“I want to say thank you to everyone here tonight for lending your support to all of us who are fighting to make sure no one else is damaged by this horrible disease.” NMA T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Award recipient, Carl Buher.
“Meningococcal disease changed my life forever. It’s a devastating and vicious disease. It takes our healthy loved ones, without warning and before we have time to help. I speak so they can be heard.” NMA T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Award recipient, Michael LaForgia
ABOUT THE NATIONAL MENINGITIS ASSOCIATION (NMA)
The National Meningitis Association (NMA) works to protect families from the devastating effects of meningococcal disease by educating the public, medical professionals and others about the disease and vaccines available to prevent it.
NMA was formed in 2002 by parents whose children died or live with permanent disabilities from meningococcal disease. Like many families, NMA’s founders were unaware that meningococcal disease vaccination could have prevented their anguish. Since NMA was founded, great strides have been made in meningitis prevention. NMA has supported the creation of broad recommendations for meningococcal vaccines to protect all preteens and teens, worked to advocate for state vaccination requirements and helped increase awareness and vaccine uptake. The organization also provides emotional support for individuals and families who have experienced meningococcal disease. To accomplish its goals, NMA develops programs and resources that reach audiences on national and grassroots levels. Parents, disease survivors and other family members help carry out NMA’s mission by conducting community awareness activities across the country through two key programs: Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.s) and Together Educating About Meningitis (T.E.A.M.).
For disease and prevention information, downloadable resources and personal stories from M.O.M.s and T.E.A.M. members, please visit WWW.NMAUS.ORG.
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