On Saturday, the Franciscan Health Foundation of Northern Indiana hosted their annual gala to benefit three bigger missions in the Region: St. Monica’s Home, NICU Transport Team of Crown Point, and the new Franciscan Hospital in Michigan City.
Nearly 600 people were in attendance at the Blue Chip Casino’s Stardust Event Center. Everyone in attendance were dressed in their finest with smiles all around as servers darted between guests with trays of delicious hors d’oeuvres.
“Events like this are especially important for us”, said Laura Mannion, Director of Development for the Franciscan Health Foundation. “It gives people the opportunity to hear about our mission programs and the good work we do in the community. We’re a very large organization, and so often people don’t realize all of the care we give to those in need.”
The event is held each year to raise funding to support various Franciscan programs. This year's gala focused on St. Monica’s Home in Dyer, which has been in operation for 20 years and services young, single, pregnant unwed mothers; the NICU Transport Team of Crown Point, which transports infants between hospitals in the area; and the new Franciscan Health Hospital being constructed in Michigan City.
Rick Peltier, the Executive Director for the Franciscan Health Foundation Northern Indiana was there to greet guests as they walked in.
“It’s all about the missions," said Peltier. "Everything we generate tonight goes to the three missions. The St. Monica Home, NICU Transport Team and third, which is why we’re having it in Michigan City this year, the new hospital that’s opening soon.”
The hospital being built will be a state of the art, 440,000 square foot building with a chapel inside it as well as a healing garden meant to benefit patients and give them a relaxing area away from the bustle of the hospital.
“Tonight, our focus is the healing garden and chapel in the new hospital in Michigan City," said Dean Mazzoni, President and CEO of Franciscan Health in Michigan City. “The healing garden will provide a nice place for patients and their families to have some quiet time. This hospital will be a beacon of hope and health, as well as an economic driver for the region.”
The event itself served as more than a fundraising opportunity for those in attendance. Patrick Maloney, President and CEO of Franciscan Health of Dyer and Munster also highlighted the importance of the event as a way to get people together in a comfortable, more relaxed setting than they may otherwise encounter.
“In addition to fundraising, the event serves as a way to bring stakeholders together to network and enjoy company,” said Maloney.
With the gala continuing after 30 years, and a presence from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of 150 years, the Franciscan Healthcare System is sure to continue their mission through these programs.
According to Sister Aline Shultz, Chief Operating Officer of Franciscan Health of Munster and Dyer, their humble beginnings were six sisters coming to Lafayette from Germany in 1863, and have grown into the network of healthcare providers available today.
For more information on the Franciscan Health Foundation, click here.