by Annette Pinder

Springfest is the largest not-for-profit gala in WNY, and frankly, I’ve never attended an event quite like it. Drawing over 2,000 guests – the largest gathering in the event’s history – from the business, medical, and ECMC communities for an evening of entertainment, fine dining, and celebration, Springfest raised more than 1.2 million, the highest amount in its history, to benefit life-saving medical services.

Springfest honored Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame Quarterback, Founder of Kelly for Kids Foundation, and Co-Founder, Hunter’s Hope Foundation; Thom R. Loree, MD, FACS, Chairman, Department of Head & Neck Surgery and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for ECMC and Associate Professor of Surgery & Otolaryngology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, UB; Maureen Sullivan, DDS, Chief, Department of Dentistry, Division of Oral Oncology & Maxillofacial Prosthetics at ECMC, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, UB, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, UB; and Donna Oddo, RN, BSN, SANE, Nursing Care Coordinator, Emergency Department, ECMC.

Ronald A. Raccuia, ECMC Foundation Chair, said, “Springfest recognizes and celebrates the dedicated service of the nurses, doctors and the ECMC team. We have well exceeded our previous attendance records, highlighting ECMC’s strong regional support.”

Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., PhD, President & CEO, ECMC Corporation, said, “Each year during Springfest, we celebrate the dedication, care and compassion of our ECMC Family. This year we surpassed the number of attendees and donation total for any previous year in the history of this event and reinforced the significant impact our caregivers have on our community. We are truly grateful for this support as we build a new state-of-the-art Trauma Center and Emergency Department, helping to provide more stories of hope and healing for years to come.”

Funds from the gala will benefit the lifesaving medical services of ECMC’s Regional Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, being updated with a modern, state-of-the-art center that doubles the capacity of the existing facility. They will also benefit ECMC’s Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care; Regional Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health; Russell J. Salvatore Orthopaedic Unit (WNY’s newest orthopaedic, physical medicine, and rehabilitation facility); the Mobile Mammography Coach; and many other ECMC initiatives.

Springfest Gala 2019 was presented by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, along with Platinum M&T Bank, UBMD Emergency Medicine, Pepsi; Entertainment sponsor Russell’s Steaks Chops & More; Floral sponsor TOPS Friendly Markets; Gold sponsors Apogee Physicians, Buffalo Bisons/Rich Products, Great Lakes Medical Imaging, Kaleida Health, Seneca Diabetes Foundation, and Tom & Jodi Quatroche; and Auction and Raffle sponsors Elderwood, KeyBank, Russell Friedman & Associates LLP, and WellCare Health Plans Inc.