Elegant Health First Ball Transports Guests to Bali Ha’i

By  //  April 15, 2013

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31ST ANNUAL BALL BENEFITS HOSPICE

IMAGES OF THE HEALTH FIRST BALL – By Joseph Grutta

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA • THE CLEMENTE CENTER AT FLORIDA TECH – The Health First Foundation hosted an elegant, stylish evening in a decked-out Clemente Center for more than 500 guests of island themed delicacies, libations, live entertainment and dancing around the theme of  ‘Come Away…Bali Ha’i.’

The Health First Foundation hosted an elegant, stylish evening in a deck-out Clemente Center for more than 500 guests of island-themed delicacies, libations, live entertainment and dancing around the theme of  'Come Away...Bali Ha’i.'

The Health First Foundation hosted an elegant, stylish evening in a deck-out Clemente Center for more than 500 guests of island-themed delicacies, libations, live entertainment and dancing around the theme of ‘Come Away…Bali Ha’i.’

Proceeds topped $400,000 from this year’s event and will help provide support to hospice services, which for 15 years, has provided families in Brevard County with compassion, comfort and care when dealing with a loved one’s end-of-life illness. The funds raised will help Hospice of Health First grow and advance by obtaining technology for electronic medical records and meet the demand for the increasing need for hospice services,

Health First Committee Chair Susan Vallette thanked the committee of 15 volunteers who planned the gala fundraising event, and also recognized guests and sponsors for their generosity in helping to raise more than $400,000.

Health First Committee Chair Susan Vallette thanked the committee of 15 volunteers who planned the gala fundraising event, and also recognized guests and sponsors for their generosity in helping to raise more than $400,000.

Cathy and Steve Johnson

Cathy and Steve Johnson

Susan Vallette was the Ball Committee Chair and Robert Perers lead the Underwriting Committee. Nancy Taylor, the Chair of the Health First Foundation Board of Directors, welcomed the distinguished guests and VIPs, and introduced Steve Johnson, President and CEO of Health First. Johnson spoke about the importance of hospice services in the community – and the vital support that it provides to families in need of care during an end-of life illness.

Dr. Ruddy Ruiz, Medical Director of Hospice of Health First, amplified on what hospice does, and how its many volunteers help to ease the pain of loss. Perers recognized his underwriting committee members and their tremendous efforts.

The theme of the black–tie gala is ‘Come Away…Bali Ha’i,’ was brought to life by Link Johnsten of Eau Gallie Florist in Melbourne, who was in charge of the decorations and the floral arrangements for the Ball.

‘HOSPICE IS NOT ABOUT THE DYING PROCESS’


IMAGES OF THE HEALTH FIRST BALL SPONSOR PARTY – By Joseph Grutta

The Health First Ball festivities kicked off with a special sponsor party held March 21 at the stunning Indialantic waterfront home of Dr. Steven and Valerie Karas.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Steve Bice; Pat Pruitt, Hospice Board; Valerie Kenworthy; and Ruddy Ruiz, MD.

More than 150 of the area’s most generous and philanthropic people were in attendance, and enjoyed a beautiful Florida sunset as they heard compelling stories and updates from executives, physicians and Ball volunteers about the need for hospice services in the community.

Proceeds from this year’s Black-tie gala event will benefit Hospice of Health First, the only Joint Commission-accredited Hospice in Brevard County.

Steve Johnson

“Hospice is not about the dying process,” said Steve Bice, executive director of Health First Hospice, who leads the only Joint Commission–accredited hospice in the county. “It’s about the living process. There are opportunities for us to provide palliative care to improve the patient’s quality of life during their last six months to a year.”

Health First President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Johnson stressed that health care is a sacred mission, and nowhere is that more true than hospice.

“We want to increase the awareness of what hospice can offer the patient,” said Dr. Ruiz. “We have a broad capability as an organization and can provide care for heart patients, pulmonary patients, and cancer patients, for example.”

Hospice services are covered by Medicaid, Medicare, most private insurance plans, and other managed–care systems. Hospice of Health First admits roughly 1,000 patients a year, with the care provided in a variety of settings around Brevard including homes, nursing homes, and assisted–living facilities.

“Hospice is the only area of medicine where you have a comprehensive team of this kind providing care and support, and reviewing everything that affects not only the patient but also the family,” said Dr. Ruddy Ruiz, the medical director for Hospice of Health First.

“We want to increase the awareness of what hospice can offer the patient,” said Dr. Ruiz. “We have a broad capability as an organization and can provide care for heart patients, pulmonary patients, and cancer patients, for example.”

THE 2013 HEALTH FIRST BALL COMMITTEE: Seated left to right – Polly Molnar, Valerie Karas, Dipty Desai, Committee Chair Susan Vallette (with Leo on her lap), Elizabeth Scheinbart, Jerri Figueroa and June Sims. Standing left to right – Sheri Tremmel, Lisa Troner, Jeanne Farmer, Linda Gettings, Christine Lance, Pat Picornell and Laura Pitten. (Not pictured: Cathy Johnson, Cynthia Ruiz)

THE 2013 HEALTH FIRST BALL UNDERWRITING COMMITTEE: Seated left to right – Donna Witek, Meridith Kaplan, Underwriting Committee Chair Rob Perers, Anna Palermo and Erik Eavenson. Standing left to right – Paul Miller, Glad Kurian, Brenda Radke, Kitty Fletcher Young, Maggie Peppler, Jose Hixon, Pat Pruitt and Neal Johnson. (Not pictured: Judy Kraftchick, Stephen Lacey)

PERERS LEADS UNDERWRITING EFFORTS

Robert “Rob” Perers, president and chief executive officer of American Business Interiors in Melbourne, heads the Ball’s underwriting committee.

Ball Underwritting Chair Rob Perers, left, and Nancy Taylor, Health First Foundation Board Chair.

“We have an outstanding underwriting team,” Perers said. “We are eager and excited about the opportunities as we reach out to the community and ask for support of this great cause. A new sponsorship we have created is the $2,500 Monarch level. We think a lot of people will want to be involved at this level.”

The Monarch sponsorship provides an opportunity to create a lasting commemoration of someone special in your life. Monarch–level sponsors, and above, will be the first to have a “laser–etched paver” in the Butterfly Garden at the Health First William Childs Hospice House.

This sponsorship also includes two Ball reservations, recognition in the program book and an invitation to the Butterfly Garden dedication.

“Hospice of Health First is a not–for–profit organization,” said Sandy Grutta, Health First Foundation coordinator. “We encourage people to become sponsors. We need community support for this event.”

For information about the Health First Foundation call 321-434-7353 or log on to Health-First.org/Foundation

RELATED STORY: Hospice of Health First Announces Associate Medical Directors


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