>It’s hard for me to describe what it has meant for me to be able to partner with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to raise money for their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over the past three years. But what I do know is that I owe 28 years of good health to all who cared for me when I was born. Unfortunately I never had a chance to personally know and thank the nurses and doctors who were able to successfully deliver me.

Jeff - NICU2Having been born at 34 weeks and weighing just 4 pounds, 8 ounces, I was considered an at-risk infant with the chance of future complications. I had several health issues to overcome including jaundice, hyaline membrane disease where my lungs were not fully functioning and patent ductus arteriosus which is the heart flap not closing. Fortunately, due to the excellent level of care that I received from the doctors and nurses at Children’s, I developed fully without any long-term health issues as a child or an adult.

My family and I are so thankful for the care we received that we have found great ways to give back to an organization that gave us so much. My mom is now a member of the Children’s Hospital Association in Minneapolis as part of the Thumper Chapter. My dad and his company sponsor events and donate generously. And I host an annual charity happy hour event.

When I decided to start a professional networking group in 2009, I knew it would be the perfect avenue to give back. Twin Cities Thursday Happy Hours (TCTHH) is a business networking group that meets once a month throughout the Twin Cities area to connect local professionals with networking opportunities, charity events and business connections.

On Thursday, May 30, 2013, TCTHH is hosting its 4th annual charity event focused on funding a private patient room in the NICU at Children’s. To date, the event has raised over $30,000 toward a five-year pledge of $50,000. This room will support the continued care of premature babies for years to come.

To find out more about the event, please visit http://www.tcthursdayhappyhours.com.