Niagara Gazette

February 5, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Community support made Premier the biggest yet

By Anu and Dr. Komal Chandan
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has been a vital part of our community for almost 120 years. And the Buffalo/Niagara region demonstrated its ongoing support for us in a big way when more than 900 people attended the hospital’s sold out fundraising event — The Premier — on Jan. 19.

The black tie dinner and entertainment gala returned for its ninth year to the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel for a five-star evening of food and fun. Latin rhythms and tropical treats created a festive atmosphere of magic, mystery and music including a riveting performance by Grammy Award winning entertainer Jon Secada, thanks to the generous support of headline sponsor Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

The Wendell Rivera Jazz Quartet provided great dinner music. Baila Salsa Dance Co. not only entertained but gave dance lessons and Soul Committee kept everyone dancing well past midnight.

As chairpersons of The Premier 2013, we were excited to see so many people have such a wonderful time for such a worthy cause. It was the biggest Premier ever and the funds raised this year bring the total raised from this annual gala to more than $1 million to support innovative health care and cutting edge technology at Memorial. This year’s proceeds will benefit Memorial’s cardiac and stroke care programs.

A first-class event does not happen by accident. We are grateful to every one of our more than 80 corporate and individual sponsors for their generous support. As always, Seneca Nation of Indians President Barry Snyder and Seneca Gaming Corporation Chairman Robert Mele were the perfect hosts. Their staff, led by President and CEO Cathy Walker, Senior Vice President of Marketing Jim Wise, Executive Director of Entertainment Kevin Wiech, Director of Catering Karen Nordaby and Executive Chef Gary McHale, was just outstanding.

We also are grateful to Dr. Rick and Anne Sawicki, who chaired this year’s Premier silent auction, to the generous donors of distinctive auction items, to Principal Robert DiFrancesco and the student volunteers from Niagara Catholic Jr./Sr. High School, and to our many community volunteers – all of whose efforts were so important to the event’s success.

Thank you all for your hard work!

We were honored to pay tribute at The Premier to Michael W. Cropp, M.D., M.B.A., the president and chief executive officer at Independent Health, and to the nursing staffs at Memorial Medical Center and the Schoellkopf Health Center. The passion they all demonstrate for quality, excellence and innovation in health care have contributed greatly to improving the health status of our region.

We would also like to thank WGRZ Channel 2 television anchor and reporter Maryalice Demler for again favoring us with an outstanding effort as The Premier’s mistress of ceremonies.

So many people contributed to the success of this event that we cannot name them all. But from our sponsors to our planning committee to all of our volunteers and attendees – all made the Premier 2013 a special night to remember! Thank you!

Anu and Dr. Komal Chandan, Russell Hurlburt and John Percy, chairpersons of The Premier 2013.

Anu and Dr. Komal Chandan, Russell Hurlburt and John Percy, chairpersons of The Premier 2013.