We wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who made the Children’s HealthWatch 20th Anniversary Celebration the success that it was on Saturday, September 29. Words cannot fully convey the depth of our gratitude and appreciation—and we write papers and briefs for a living—but we are going to try:
Our Event Sponsors: You have provided us with the resources needed to accomplish our goal of modernizing our systems to more readily and effectively share real-time data and research that help to inform policies that impact the lives of so many. Thank you so much for believing in our mission:
- The CVS Health Foundation
- Delta Dental of Massachusetts
- John W Alden Trust
- Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation
- Eos Foundation
- The Boston Foundation
- United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
To our individual event sponsors and donors: Thank you so, so much for your generosity! Your kindness is immeasurable and invaluable. Some of you are longtime supporters and others are new to us, but you all are wonderful.
To the Boston Medical Center Development, Government Affairs and Communications Departments: Your expertise and guidance made a world of difference in the execution and promotion of the celebration. Thank you for making the road to the event less bumpy!
The Children’s HealthWatch Advisory Board: Last year when we brought the idea of a celebration to you, we weren’t sure ourselves we could even do it. However, you set to work right away, going above and beyond, and made believers out of us. We are particularly grateful to Shelly Chigier, our outgoing Chairperson; Karen Sweet, our incoming Advancement Chair; Marydale DeBor; and Karen Charles Peterson. Thank you for opening up your homes, reaching out to your networks and giving your considerable time and efforts.
Clappazzola Partners: Marjorie and Chris, you are our guardian angels (or some other unworldly beings)! You made us feel like your only priority even with your burgeoning schedules and client list, and you gave us not only a night none of us will soon forget, but a year of memorable events leading to it. To say ‘thank you’ feels like so little, but please know what you did means so much.
Our Event Partners: You made our event much more special with your participation. Because of you, we ended up with more than a celebration, but an epic feast for the eyes, ears and mouth. Thank you so much. We are truly humbled by your generosity:
- Reverend Liz Walker—for being such an inspiring and gracious emcee! You were so lovely and exciting and got the audience going!
- Rachel Frazier and the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate—for your responsiveness, flexibility and the use of such of a wonderful and meaningful venue.
- Peak Events –for transforming an already wonderful space to one that was spectacular!
- AV Presentations, Dan Stapleton—for handling all the technical details that made us look and sound great!
- Robbie Jacobs, Director of Artistic Programming, Boston Children’s Chorus & Chorus Director Dr. Anthony Trecek-King–you were the emotional touchstone of the evening. No one will ever hear “We Shall Overcome” without thinking of your touching and heartfelt delivery.
- Melody Stanford Martin/Stanford Creative—for designing our 20th anniversary logo, beautifully executed policy briefs, infographics, and a wonderful website.
- Winston Flowers—for the gorgeous flowers that made the space a study in beauty.
The Chefs: Event goers will definitely remember the food and drinks. Thank you so much for providing a culinary utopia that no one wanted to leave:
- Chef-Owner Frank McClelland—twice now you have given so much of yourself in support of our mission, we are forever grateful.
- Chef Lydia Shire—your kindness towards us is as legendary as your skills. We (and our stomachs) feel blessed.
- Chef Alex Pineda—we have been lucky twice over to experience your palette pleasing offerings. Actually, they were more than palette pleasing—they were phenomenal..
- Roger Berkowitz, Rich Vellante and Joan Giblin —thank you for the fantastic chefs and impeccably crafted delights.
- Bob Wiggins, Owner of Gourmet Caterers—if there was a Hall of Fame for caterers like you, you would be in it—and the only one, hands down. You have done so much for us in the little time we have known you. Salud!
Congressman Jim McGovern: Thank you for your presence, moving speech, thoughtful insight, and the many, many conversations with guests throughout the evening. You are a true champion for this work. You have put our research along with the calls from people struggling to afford enough food into action. Caitlin Hodgkins, Kathleen Polanowicz, and Kelly Brissette, thank you for all you do in Congressman McGovern’s office. We know that it is dedicated staff like you that make this work possible.
Our guest organizations: Over the years, you have fought the good fight alongside us, sharing research and insight, and partnering with us to better the lives of children and families. The work that we all do is at turns gratifying, frustrating and at times, heartbreaking, but whatever it is, you’ve been with us every step of the way. Thank you for being our guests and such wonderful partners-in-arms.
We want to specifically thank the families who courageously share their stories with us, policy makers, and the public. To the members of Witnesses to Hunger, Juell Frazier, Bonita Cuff, Quanda Burrell, Jessica Frazier, Diane Sullivan, Tashia Ezell-Cuff, Mona Ezell, and Sherita Mouzon, thank you for your tireless commitment to speaking up and fighting for policies that will make our country a more just and equitable place to live. To the families in Housing Prescriptions as Health Care, thank you for your ongoing work and feedback as we pilot an intervention for improving housing stability for families with children. And to the One Family Scholars, thank you for generously sharing with us your perspectives and working alongside us to improve policies across our state. We were honored that all of you were there to celebrate this occasion with us.
Thank you all for coming out and celebrating with us. We’ve already said this a few times, but we truly would not be where we are if not for you. As Drs. Frank, Casey and Meyers mentioned in their speeches, in the early days of Children’s HealthWatch, we didn’t know if we would survive past the first year, but we have—because of you. So, thank you for giving us the best 20 years. We look forward to working with you in the next 20.
The Children’s HealthWatch Team