Umbrella Gala Raises $260,000 for Children’s Specialized Hospital

October 24, 2013

 Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation celebrated the 26th anniversary of their annual Umbrella Gala at Maritime Parc, in Jersey City, NJ October 18.  This year’s event honored the fundraising work of the L’Oréal USA Operations group in Clark, NJ and major donor, Louise Washington. The gala helped raise $260,000 to support the expansion of the PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick.  The 60-bed pediatric inpatient rehabilitation hospital serves children affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury, premature birth and life-changing illnesses. 

Philip Salerno, III, president and chief development officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation; Matthew Petlz, former patient and guest speaker, Children’s Specialized Hospital and Amy B. Mansue, president and chief executive officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital. 

The L’Oreal USA Operations team has raised $2.58 million dollars over the past six years for Children’s Specialized Hospital by hosting their annual Fore The Children golf event.  The incredible fundraising efforts of the golf event committee; championed by Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation treasurer, Morris Lenczicki, VP of Industrial Systems Applications at L’Oréal USA Operations exemplify true corporate partnership and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.   Brian Wassall, Assistant Vice President, Purchasing at L’Oréal USA Operations and co-chairperson of committee, Fore The Children golf event accepted the award on behalf of the entire committee.  

Philip Salerno, III, president and chief development officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation; Brian Wassall, assistant vice president, purchasing L’Oreal USA & L’Oreal Fore The Children committee member.

Louise Washington, former resident of Morris County area, was honored in memoriam as a major donor.  During her lifetime, Miss Washington was one of Children’s Specialized most loyal and generous donors, supporting the hospital for many years prior to her death in 1999 at age 102.  To ensure that her favorite charities were still supported after her death, Miss Washington set up a charitable remainder trust in 1993 that continued as a charitable foundation after her death.  To date, Ms. Washington has given more than $7 million dollars to support Children’s Specialized Hospital.

Stella Matteace-Esposito, foundation board of trustee member;  Anita Siegel, foundation board of trustee member, accept an award on behalf of the Louise Washington Charitable  Remainder Unitrust with Philip Salerno, III, president and chief development officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation.

“It was an extreme honor to celebrate two of our most treasured donors,” said Philip Salerno, III, chief development officer and president, Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation. “Both the L’Oréal “Fore the Children” golf event team and Ms. Washington share a passion for helping children most in need.  With a combined contribution of almost $10 million dollars, we know their generosity has had a profound impact of the 20,000 children with special needs we treat each year.”

Over 270 guests danced the night away to America’s number one show band, The Infernos – featuring Kenny Simmons, one of the original members of the Commodores.  Major sponsors include L’Oréal USA Operations, C.R. Bard and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Guests enjoyed a silent auction and a prize raffle including dream vacation to Hawaii valued at $25,000; donated by John and Karen Hess. 

Karen Hess; gala committee chair, says this year’s team focus at the Umbrella Gala is a perfect metaphor for the hospital.

“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. The committee has generously donated their time to make this gala a huge win for the kids,” said Karen.

Gala chairperson Karen Hess was joined by committee members: Alan Blake, John Boyle, John DeFord, Tom M. Kay, Morris Lenzcicki, Stella Matteace-Esposito; Jeffery Rosen, Neil Rottenberg, Barbara Rothman, Anita J. Siegel, Esq. Dan Spicehandler and Debbie Spicehandler.  Ex-officio Philip Salerno, III and Nick Boccella. 

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age 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. At thirteen different New Jersey locations, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and children can achieve more of their goals. 

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