Category Archives: Fundraising
At Gillette, we believe our staff members are something special. The compassion and care they provide to our patients is remarkable. In some cases, that compassion grows from a unique understanding of what our families are going through—because many of our employees are also patient families.
Take, for example, Eleesha Hruza, a Gillette nurse. In 2005, Eleesha gave birth to her son, Javier, in Bemidji, Minnesota. When Javier was a month old, he contracted a severe infection and was hospitalized for more than a month.
“Medical professionals told me his outlook was bleak,” says Eleesha. “Very few professionals believed Javier would even survive his first year of life.” He was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and at 18 months he was referred to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
“I had never heard of Gillette, and didn’t know what to expect,” says Eleesha. “When we arrived for our first appointment, I was blown away. I was given a thorough education about Javier’s disability, and was told he would have a happy and healthy future. What a gift for someone to believe in him!”
Over the next year, Javier saw medical specialists at Gillette, and his health dramatically improved. His Gillette medical team took pride in his triumphs and never lost hope. Today Javier is a happy, healthy, 7-year-old first grader.
“The Gillette nurses who cared for Javier inspired me to become a nurse,” says Eleesha. “And now I work at Gillette as a full-time registered nurse, doing my best to help other children the way those nurses helped Javier.”
Eleesha adds, “I can say with great conviction that the people who work at Gillette are the most committed and caring group I have ever known. I hold myself to these standards because I want to give each patient and family the kind of care that Javier and I received. I’m asking people to support this wonderful hospital because I know on a very personal level the importance of the work we do.”
Zoe has an unusual outlook when it comes to birthdays. The 8-year-old isn’t interested in getting presents on her special day. Instead, she’s determined to give to others. In December, Zoe donated the gifts and money she received for her birthday to patients at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
This isn’t the first time Zoe’s given away her birthday gifts. When she was 5 she asked the grownups in her family for money instead of gifts, which she then donated to the Animal Humane Society in Woodbury, Minn. Last year, she sent her birthday money to an orphanage in Guatemala.
Zoe’s mom, Carmen Colombo, says her daughter has always had a generous, and somewhat practical, spirit. “The first year she could really understand what Christmas was about, I asked her what she wanted,” says Colombo. “She said she wanted a picture of her family to hang in her room. That was all she asked for that year.”
Of course, Zoe’s generosity could be because of her giving family. Colombo and her husband, Brian Colombo, match Zoe’s donations, this year bringing the family’s total gift to $710. And Zoe’s grandmother, Corrinne Reed, is a longtime Gillette supporter through the employee giving campaign at Dairy Queen.
When Dairy Queen randomly selected Reed to represent the company at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration 2012, Reed says, “I knew immediately that I wanted to take Zoe with me.” There Zoe met many of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions, kids from around the country who have disabilities, chronic conditions or cancer. “I thought it would be a life-changing experience for her,” says Reed, “and it was.”
Now Zoe’s more determined than ever to help change the lives of others. “I started paying attention and noticed that a lot of people need help,” explains Zoe. “I thought I should help.”
As we gear up for the KS95 for Kids Radiothon this Thursday and Friday, we wanted to take a moment to recognize, and thank, our generous sponsors who have made this year’s event possible.
Be sure to listen to 94.5 FM, KS95, on Thursday, December 6 and Friday, December 7 for opportunities to have your gift matched by our KS95 for Kids partners.
More than 500 Gillette families, staff and supporters enjoyed an evening of live comedy entertainment last Saturday at Laugh Out Loud Twin Cities (LOLTC). The first-of-its-kind event featured interactive games, a children’s art showcase, a live auction, and even a surprise Flash Mob dance routine.
As emcee, WCCO’s Mark Rosen kept crowds energized throughout the evening, which culminated in a live performance by actor and comedian Martin Short. We’re thrilled to announce that LOLTC raised more than $250,000 for Gillette! Many thanks to all who attended – and to our generous corporate sponsors – for making LOLTC a smashing success!