More than 900 people gathered at The Depot on Saturday for the 28th annual Star Gala to benefit patients and families of Children’s Minnesota. Our annual event raised a record breaking $2.3 million of vital funds to help Children’s diagnose and treat kids dealing with rare and complex genetic conditions.
Hosted by co-emcees Belinda Jensen of KARE 11 and Obadiah Gamble, a patient at Children’s, this year’s gala highlighted the importance of genomic medicine, a fascinating field of study at the forefront of modern medicine.
Children’s has the only genomic medicine program in Minnesota that focuses exclusively on kids, and is pioneering new ways to diagnose, evaluate and treat conditions using patients’ genetic information.
“About 90 percent of diseases have a genetic component, so our program sees more than 2,500 kids and teens annually,” said Dr. Emily Chapman, MD, chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at Children’s Minnesota. “As one of the first hospitals to offer rapid genome testing, which can diagnose faster than ever before, Children’s is providing the critical answers needed to improve patient outcomes.”
Guests were offered both entertainment and moving stories from families who’ve experienced care at Children’s.
Through video, the Koch family of Maple Grove shared their journey with Aiden, their first child, who died of an extremely rare genetic disorder shortly after his first birthday. Children’s genomic medicine program helped them identify and understand Aiden’s condition and positively move forward with their family plans. The Koch family shared on stage how they have become grateful donors to Children’s. For those interested in making a financial contribution to Children’s genomic medicine program, visit childrensmn.org/givesg.
The Star Gala also included a silent and live auction, dinner and dancing. The fund-a-need raised more than $500,000 with an incredible gift from the 22 Children’s Star Gala Youth Committee members of nearly $67,000. Top sponsors at this year’s event include: APi Group, Inc., BeEvents, Delta Air Lines and Great Clips.