Over 1,100 friends and supporters are expected to crowd the ballroom of the Marriott Marquis on December 9 to laud Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health network that provides emotional and social support to more than 4,300 children and their families every year. Inspirational speaker and radio host Charlie Harary will act as master of ceremonies.
“The gala celebrates our 27-year track record of positively affecting the lives of sick children and their families,” avowed Rabbi Simcha Scholar, the organization’s executive vice president. “Chai Lifeline continues to expand to meet the needs of the growing number of families who ask for assistance every year.” Rabbi Scholar noted that over the past 12 months, more than 1,100 families around the world have become part of Chai Lifeline.
Dr. Mark R. Sultan: Chai Heritage Award. Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Mark R. Sultan, MD FACS, will receive the organization’s prestigious Chai Heritage Award. Dr. Sultan, who serves as the chief of plastic surgery at the St. Lukes and Roosevelt divisions of the Mt. Sinai Health System, took his friendship to the next level last summer when he trained and rode 181 miles through three states as part of the 2014 Bike4Chai team.
“Dr. Sultan’s compassion and dedication to health care and his patients is a natural fit with Chai Lifeline,” Rabbi Scholar stated.
CHOP CEO Dr. Steven M. Altschuler: Maimonides Medical Achievement Award. Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, the chief executive officer of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the Maimonides Medical Achievement Award for his groundbreaking stewardship of the world’s largest pediatric medical center.
“Dr. Altschuler is an innovator both in providing exceptional pediatric care and in building CHOP into the premier research center into the cause, prevention, and treatment of pediatric disease,” said Rabbi Sruli Fried, MSW, director of Chai Lifeline’s New Jersey region. We are delighted to be able to recognize the relationship between our institutions that has such positive implications for CHOP’s young patients and their families.”
Rena Rosenberg: Vision of Hope Award. Rena Rosenberg, a principal at McKinsey & Co. and a partner in its Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices practice, is this year’s Vision of Hope honoree. Ms. Rosenberg was a member of the first Team Lifeline team that ran the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon in 2006, and was active in the Chai Society (young leadership) group in the Midwest before moving to New Jersey.
“There is nobody in the world who can’t understand the need and work of Chai Lifeline. It has a special place in my heart,” she explained. “Chai Lifeline gives children a chance to feel the excitement of childhood again.”
Jeff and Amy Becker: Pillar of Courage Award. Chai Lifeline parents Jeff and Amy Becker will receive the Pillar of Courage Award in recognition of their family’s years of battle against daughter Sydney’s cancer diagnosis. Sydney’s preteen years were spent in treatment instead of with friends and schoolwork. Her parents credit Chai Lifeline with enabling all of them to remain focused and optimistic during these difficult years.
Nachman and Esti Calko, Moshe Reiss: Camp Simcha Appreciation Award. Former Camp Simcha staff member Nachman Calko and his wife, Esti, and Moshe Reiss, whose involvement with Camp Simcha spans more than a decade-and-a-half, will share the Camp Simcha Appreciation Award. This honor is given annually to staff members whose contributions in camp and during the year have made a significant difference in the lives of campers and the institution.
Chai Lifeline’s 2014 Annual Gala takes place on Tuesday, December 9 at the Marriott Marquis in New York. For reservations and to place ads in the commemorative journal, visit www.chaidinner.org or call 212 699-6658.