Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Foundation hosted its annual Crystal Heart Ball on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at the Field Museum. The Masters of Ceremonies were Little Company of Mary’s very own baby alum, Patrick Elwood with WGN Chicago, along with Nancy Loo, also with WGN. More than 750 guests danced the night away to the musical stylings of the Indigo Orchestra while experiencing international cultures and observing artifacts from ancient Greece. This premiere gala, the largest on Chicago’s Southwest side, raised more than $440,000. Final proceeds will benefit Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Neonatal Special Care Unit.
This year’s Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award was presented to Kerry Ryan Lynch for her Choose Kind campaign. After Kerry’s daughter, Mary Cate, was diagnosed with Apert Syndrome after birth in December of 2011, Kerry earned her “warrior” badge through her devoted care of her infant daughter. Her days were spent intent on improving Mary Cate’s quality of life. In the time that Kerry has taken to educate herself and advocate for her daughter, she also has been teaching the world about kindness and acceptance. Today, Kerry continues to spread her message not only through social media but also through school visits. She reminds children that while they may not all look the same on the outside, they all have the ability to “Choose Kind” and treat others with respect and dignity. If you ask Kerry, she will say she is just doing what she needs to do for her daughter. If you ask her friends and the people in her community, they see a woman who, because of her precious daughter, is changing the way people view and treat each other. Kerry has made it her mission to teach others about the importance of acceptance and people all over have embraced “Choosing Kind” because of her. The speech given by Kerry after receiving the 2016 Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award at the Ball elicited a well-deserved standing ovation from the attendees.
This year’s Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence honoree was the Little Company of Mary Hospital Pastoral Care Team. These selfless individuals celebrate our Little Company of Mary Heritage and Catholic identity every day, while meeting the diverse spiritual needs of our staff, physicians, patients and their families; assisting them in navigating difficult end-of-life decisions; and providing comprehensive bereavement services for those suffering the loss of a loved one. Furthermore, chaplains are available 24 hours a day to help patients and families sort through complex and emotionally devastating issues such as loss, crisis, helplessness, pain, and suffering with care and compassion. The Pastoral Care Team is committed to offering their services in a highly professional and compassionate manner, with compassion always being at the forefront of their ministry.
Dennis and Jennifer O’Malley were the chairs of this premier fundraising event with co-chairs Drs. Michael and Karen O’Mara. Guests at the ball enjoyed signature lemon martinis followed by a gourmet meal prepared by Blue Plate Catering. In honor of the Field Museum’s newest premier exhibit, The Greeks, the hospital foundation raffled a grand prize a trip to Greece for two. The grand prize raffle winner was Frank Cunningham. For more information on Little Company of Mary’s Foundation, or to learn how you can donate to Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Neonatal Special Care Unit, please visit www.LCMH.org/foundation.