(Long Island, N.Y.) Conscientious caregivers, physicians, media and celebrities gathered to give their support for the National Meningitis Association (NMA) annual Give Kids a Shot Gala at landmark New York Athletic Club located in the affluent neighborhood of Central Park South.
The worthy benefit was all about saving lives on April 23rd to support those who work tirelessly to fight against meningitis, a vaccine preventable deadly disease that has stricken the lives of thousands of our youngsters.
During cocktails guests and supporters enjoyed the silent auction which ranged from expensive rare wines to glamorous vacations while viewing photographs of individuals who were succumbed by Meningitis.
During the event I chatted with President and Founder Lynn Bozof. Ms Bozof talked about her son Evan at the age of twenty passing away on April 20th, 1998. As a result of contracting this meningococcal disease, he had both arms and legs amputated and that still did not save his life. Evan was a college junior, honor student and pitcher on his university baseball team. During that time Ms. Bozof was unaware that a vaccine existed that could have saved his life.
Later that evening contributors dined on a fabulous dinner and listened to a welcoming speech presented by NMA president Lynn Bozof. The elegant gala was emceed by Emmy Award winning actor Richard Thomas who has been a compassionate supporter since day one.
Actor Thomas introduced star of stage and screen, two-time Tony Award winner James Naughton who performed his rendition of “Beware My Foolish Heart.” I was able to converse with Mr. Naughton before dinner during cocktails. During our interview he stated, “Gary Springer who is a publicist, son of a wonderful publicist, John Springer, has a terrific son of his own named Nick Springer. When Nick was about eleven years old Nick was stricken with Spinal Meningitis and lost part of all four limbs, so Gary’s family has been in our thoughts for a long time. This is my second year at the NMA Gala. Last year I emceed it because their long time friend and a good friend of mine, Richard Thomas who had been their emcee for the first bunch of years was unavailable so I stood in for Richard. We have done five plays together in LA, Williamstown and Broadway and this year Gary asked me to come back and sing a few songs.”
The event celebrated Honorees Jeri Acosta & Jerri Greenwell who received the Moms on Meningitis Award and Sara Herbert-Galloway & Barry J. Klarberg; Monarch Wealth & Business Management received the NMA’s Nancy Ford Springer Inspiration Award for their long standing support of NMA.
I also had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Honoree Sara Herbert-Galloway who revealed “It is a tremendous honor for me and Barry to be asked to accept The Nancy Ford Springer Inspiration Award. Everyone close to us knows how near and dear the Springer family, Lynn Bozof and the National Meningitis Association are to our hearts.” Sara’s two children Justin and Alana Galloway have been teen Ambassadors for NMA for a couple of years now.
Ms. Galloway is a devoted and dedicated philanthropist who is involved with several charities. She resides in several locations between Greenwich, CT., Southampton, NY and Manhattan.
Her education as a Registered Nurse and specialty in ICU Trauma and Neurology has helped shape her ability to empathize with those in distress. As an Elite Model, Sara traveled the world and discovered knowledge about various societies and cultures. She has lived in Manhattan and Europe for several years working in numerous television, print and radio campaigns as both a model and actress. For many years she had the recurring role of a nurse on soap operas and was the model/spokesperson for Keri Lotion internationally for three years.
Her beautiful children are her greatest accomplishments. They are also involved with various charities and perform a lot of community service as well.
Ms. Galloway is presently involved with: The Millennium Development Goals with the UN, The National Meningitis Association, Sentebale, ACE for the Homeless (NY) and The American Heart Association long with other charities.
A-listers at the event included: Actress/Model Carol Alt & Bonnie Pfeifer, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, James & Kedakai Lipton, Actress Christine DeLisle, Designer Berry Brown, Actor Joe Sirola, Monique Van Voor, Danielle Doty en, Daisi Sepulveda, Mrs. Ethnic World International 2012 (herself a meningitis survivor), Danielle Doty Miss Teen USA, Award Winning Playwright Director & Actress Kenyetta Lethridge, Producer Diana Zollicoffer, Tax Attorney David Hryck, Rod & Judy Gilbert, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Ida Liu, Dr Howard Sobel & Gayle Perry Sobel, Cassandra Seidenfeld, Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, NMA Board Members, Lynn Bozof, President, Lori Buher, NMA Director.
Honorary Committee included Carol Alt, Michael Badalucco, Lynn Grossman & Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Judy & Rod Gilbert, Adam Graves, Amy Madigan & Ed Harris, Lainie Kazan, Felicity Huffman & William H. Macy, Mark Messier, Congressman Michael Michaud, Lauren & Dave Mirra, BMX Moto Cross Champion, James Naughton, Bart & Michelle Oates, Heather Randall, Susan Sarandon, Daisy Pollard Sepulveda, Mrs. World Ethnic International 2012, Joe Sirola, Charlie Sheen, U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe and Liv Ullman.
The National Meningitis Association, Inc. (NMA) is a national non-profit charity established in July of 2002. NMA’s goal is to educate and bring awareness of meningococcal disease. The founding members were personally affected by the tragedy of meningococcal disease.
NMA’s mission is to educate families, medical professionals and others about bacterial meningitis and prevention approaches to the disease.
In particular, NMA is focused on raising awareness and protection among adolescents. Individuals can be protected through education and vaccination efforts.
For more information please visit www.nmaus.org.