Twenty-five years of providing health care to the uninsured was celebrated in grand style as North Coast Health Ministry (NCHM) hosted this year’s Silver Celebration gala auction and dinner on Thursday, September 1 at Westwood Country Club in Rocky River.
This annual event supports the life-saving health care provided at NCHM for the low-income uninsured in western Greater Cleveland.
“We exceeded our fundraising goal of $125,000,” reported NCHM Executive Director Lee Elmore. That figure represents more than 10 percent of NCHM’s annual operating budget.
The night was made especially memorable as Elmore presented the 2011 Community Champion Award to Harry and Sharon Zilli.
Lee Elmore and Sharon Zilli worked together as Operating Room nurses at Fairview Hospital in the mid 1960s. Since then, the Zilli have been dedicated supporters of NCHM, especially through their work with Community West Foundation.
“The purpose of the Community Champion Award is to recognize outstanding and significant contributions by individuals for the betterment of NCHM on a long-term basis and to recognize individuals who have worked to improve access for the low-income uninsured,” reports Elmore.
Harry Zilli serves as Grants Committee Chair for Community West Foundation. “Community West has been a loyal supporter of North Coast Health Ministry, with grants totaling over $1.25 million over the past decade,” said Elmore. “Their support has made possible our being able to serve the low-income uninsured on Greater Cleveland’s West Side through these troubling economic times.”
The evening was also made special with a visit from Dr. Russell Elmer, a former area orthopedic surgeon who, along with Hu and Jan Auburn of Bay Village, saw a need for assistance serving low income and uninsured area residents back in 1986. Four churches and a group of community spirited philanthropists embarked on a mission that started North Coast Health Ministry and has now served thousands of patients in need for a quarter-century.
Also recognized at the event were the recipients of the following awards: Community Champion Award, Harry and Sharon Zilli; Partner Award, St. John Medical Center; Hahn/Hoeffler/Sanders Memorial Award for Outstanding Medical Volunteers, Marvin D. Shie III, MD and Carol Travis, RN, MSN, CNP; and Angel Volunteer Award, Dick Heath. Honorary chair of the event is NCHM founder Dr. Russell Elmer.
North Coast Health Ministry believes that inability to pay should not prevent people from receiving health care. They are firmly committed to treating patients with dignity and respect.
The nonprofit is made possible through a variety of means, including foundation dollars, individual corporate donors, the United Way, churches, Community Development Block Grant funds and the state of Ohio.
The evening featured cocktails, dinner and dessert, a live auction and raffles, including a drawing for a Disney Cruise for four or a $4,000 American Express travel voucher – winner’s choice. The Silver Celebration was co-chaired by Sandy Haas, Wendy Kieding and Carol Rini.
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