Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Foundation hosted its 24th annual Crystal Heart Ball on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the Field Museum featuring the latest exhibit, Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair. The Master of Ceremonies was Little Company of Mary’s very own baby alumni, Patrick Elwood with WGN Chicago. More than 700 guests danced the night away to the musical stylings of the Indigo Orchestra while experiencing international cultures and observing artifacts from all over the world. This premiere gala – the largest of its kind originating from the Southwest side of Chicago – raised more than $418,000 for Values. Vision. Innovation: the Campaign for Little Company of Mary Hospital.
This year’s Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award was presented to Kendall Ciesemier, founder of Kids Caring 4 Kids (KC4K). Kendall is a suburban Chicagoan, who is currently a sophomore at Georgetown University. In 2003, Kendall adopted a child through World Vision using her own savings of $360. That summer, as she underwent two liver transplants, Kendall asked that in lieu of gifts, friends and family donate money to help other children in Africa. With their generosity, Kendall sponsored the village of Musele, Zambia. As the word spread of Kendall’s efforts to kids across the country, she was able to raise more than $15,000 by the summer’s end. She decided to officially organize the effort, calling it “Kids Caring 4 Kids.” In January 2005, KC4K officially became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Today, KC4K has received nearly $900,000 in donations. Kendall is now championing a national campaign to raise $1 million and to involve more than 10,000 students in providing hope and care to African children in need.
This year’s Sister Nancy Boyle Award for Excellence honoree was Little Company of Mary’s Dr. Kuhn Hong, who is currently on a medical mission in Ethiopia for the next three years at Myungsung Christian Medical Center in Addis Ababa. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Hong has visited more than 20 countries for short-term medical mission trips, including Haiti, Honduras, North Korea and many countries in Africa, providing medical examinations to many people who have never received medical care. As a man who likes to combine his many talents and put them to amazing use, Dr. Hong has not only provided medical aid to these various countries, but has also sketched and painted his experiences along the way. His artwork has been featured throughout the hallways of the hospital and in various publications, including The Atlantic, Chicago Medicine and Today’s Christian Doctor. Dr. Hong retired from Little Company of Mary Hospital in June after 24 years as the Medical Director of Nuclear Medicine.
Matt and Mary Ellen Filosa were the chairs of this premier fundraising event with co-chairs Dr. Thomas and Daine Quinn. Guests were able to enjoy a cocktail reception followed by a gourmet meal prepared by Blue Plate Catering. There were also cash drawings. The grand prize cash drawing winner of $15,000 was Mrs. Lauren Kavanaugh. For more information on Little Company of Mary’s Foundation Department or to learn how you can donate to Values. Vision. Innovation: the Campaign for Little Company of Mary Hospital, please visit LCMH.org/foundation.