The seventh annual CSF Charity Ball took place on March 15, 2014 at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. There was a sea of green and the guests were beginning to feel lucky for the Pot ’O Gold Night as they filed in to the cocktail hour for hors d’oeuvres and to browse the exciting items available for silent auction and raffle.
As dinner was being served, guests sat at their tables and the program began. Executive Director Dorothy Poppe began the evening’s festivities with a warm greeting, and a reminder of why we were all gathered together. Ms. Poppe also mentioned an exciting new project that CSF has undertaken to create an international patient registry and database, which has never been attempted—until now.
After Ms. Poppe’s welcome, came a moving patient testimonial from Regina Rath and her beautiful daughter. As they came to the podium to share their experiences, the crowd listened intently and learned that their story, while heartbreaking, was not uncommon.
Up next were the prestigious awards! The community awards went to the seven amazing volunteers who sacrificed their free time to help organize their respective 2013 unite@night walks in New York City, New York State, New Jersey—even Massachusetts! CSF honored Robert Yost, Denise Cobo-Yost, Kori Brzozwy, Kolya Smith, Sabrina Stabile, Michelle Piazza and Meredith Burns, who attended the affair.
Dorothy Poppe then presented the first of three “family awards”— which were meant to honor those families who had, over the course of CSF’s short existence, given $10,000 or more! Ms. Poppe had the honor of presenting the first award to her own parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Mary Smith.
The second was awarded to Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Patricia Farrell—the parents of CSF’s Chairman Mr. Paul Farrell, who was unable to attend the event due to surgery. Having been diagnosed with syringomyelia himself, Mr. Farrell knows the pains of these disorders all too well, and his absence served as a sobering reminder of how these disorders can truly affect people’s lives. Despite his inability to attend, he was grateful to introduce his parents as honorees via phone. Also honored as awardees by Mr. Farrell were Timothy and Kathleen Farrell, who were also unable to attend the event.
The final family awardees were introduced by Mr. Joseph Fitzpatrick, CSF’s Vice-Chairman, who gave a brief recounting of his family’s experiences with these disorders in his son and how important Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Mary Foreman were to his family and to CSF, in general.
All the award recipients, family and community alike, were touched and truly honored to be a part of something larger than themselves, especially for such a worthy cause.
After dinner, the guests were able to partake in exciting casino-style gaming, complete with a Texas Hold ’Em tournament! Between the gaming, fabulous raffle and silent auction prizes and delicious dinner, a wonderful time was had by all—and important awareness and research funding was raised. It’s safe to say that the CSF Pot ’O Gold Night at the Charity Ball brought a little luck back into the lives of those fighting Chiari malformation, syringomyelia and related disorders.
CSF would like to thank our sponsors for making the seventh annual Charity Ball such a rousing success and for helping to fight these disorders!