What a party! Graham’s Foundation recently celebrated its 10th year at the Annual ‘Tinis for Preemies event Friday, May 18 at the Carranor Hunt & Polo Club in Perrysburg.
It was after losing one of their preemie twins that Jennifer and Nick Hall co-founded Graham’s Foundation in memory of their son, Graham. The vision has always been “a world where no parent has to travel the prematurity journey alone,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer, Co-founder and Director of Operations shared some impressive milestones at the event. Our MyPreemie app, developed by nationally-known authors and leading pediatric and neonatal specialists, has experienced a huge surge in downloads. In addition, our Preemie Parent Mentor Program (which provides 24/7 mentoring across the U.S.) has grown to include 29 mentors providing support to over 602 families.
The core initiative of Graham’s Foundation’s mission is still our signature care packages for preemie parents. The very first NICU Care Package was shipped in 2009, and since then, we have shipped over 50,000 Care Packages with requests increasing year after year. In 2017 alone, we shipped 226% more care packages than the prior year.
We also introduced the 2018 Graham’s Foundation Ambassador Family Seryna and Randy LaDue that evening. The LaDues know all about the stress and fear of prematurity as their son, Caleb Ponce LaDue was born at only 22 weeks. As the Ambassador Family, the LaDues will be instrumental in connecting other preemie parents with Graham’s Foundation and our programs.
Our Co-founder Nick Hall orchestrated a very lively auction, including great getaway destination packages, cases of hand-selected premium wines and a category of “Spring Spruce Up” items like home power washing by Beerbower Painting & Power Washing, top coat driveway sealing by Perrysburg Residential Sealcoating & Asphalt, a year’s worth of premium car washes by Expresso Car Wash, lawn services by Hoops Lawn Services, and even a Reve’ Salon and Spa certificate for the person who needs a spring spruce up!
Major supporter Tito’s Handmade Vodka doubled the dollars during the auction, but the bidder paddles really started flying just after Dr. Christy Lorton of Dermatology Associates and Ada Aesthetics stepped up and agreed to match dollars raised for the Care Package program. Beth Anne Osborne of Ada Aesthetics chimed in at the end of the auction offering an additional match!
In total, the evening raised over $43,000 that will help fund our support programs for preemie parents through 2018.
The evening was made spectacular with farmhouse tables, old Edison-style strung lighting and lanterns by Mager Designs, fabulous food by Fowl & Fodder and delicious signature martinis by Tito’s Handmade Vodka were sipped and savored. Signature tiny martinis included The Fountain of Youth, The Wildebeest, a Classic Vodka Vesper, and Tito’s Garden – the specialty smaller martini glassware made it possible to try them all!
Those seen at this most recent ‘Tinis for Preemies fundraiser include Sally Reece with granddaughter and surviving twin of Graham Hall, Reece Hall; Kristin, Grace and Emma Kate Holbrook; Amanda Metzger; Alicia Wagner of Fowl & Fodder and husband John Wagner; Bridgette Holt of Toledo Community Foundation; Chris Becker of Bionix Corporation with JB and Nicole Leboutillier and Jeremy Zeisloft; Robert Scott of Brookside Contracting with Cara Scott and Jennifer King; Pat Sheehan of DMC Technology Group with wife Elaine Sheehan; Patrick Williams of Hylant and wife Rae Anne Williams; Jarrod Demski of Heidelberg Distributing and wife Cheryl Demski; Heidi and Matt Shade; Kelly Ewbank, Jodi Farschman; Tina and Todd Griffith; Betty Lazarro of Sulphur Springs Realty and husband Jim Lazarro; Deborah Born, Lisa Butler, Jane and Dan DiSalle; Dr. Pedro Roca and wife Stephanie Risk with friends Vicky Champagne (gotta love her last name!) and husband Franco Daino. Deb Buker of Welch Publishing and husband Les Buker were with good friends Dick and Annette Sipp, Marge Black and John and Carol Hall. The Halls are grandparents to the Graham’s Foundation namesake, Graham Nicholas Hall.