Monday, April 19, 2021

March 2021 Newsletter

  March 2021

Dear Palo Alto Auxiliary friends,

My daffodils, yellow pansies and primroses are blooming beautifully and, to quote Nan Larsson, “I feel spring in the air and a feeling of rebirth.  Energy to continue raising funds and awareness for the kids at our hospital”. 

Are you feeling likewise? – there’s so much to do and we seem almost able to get back out there.  I hope you’ve breezed through your vaccination shots.  I was delighted to have no reaction at all.  Now I feel invincible but still wear a mask and am still making them for family members who need some additions to their wardrobes.  My nine-year-old grandson even asked for one in powder blue to match his new Little League uniform.  His dad, the coach, said he could use one too!

With all the efforts to stop the spread of COVID, the hospital is still unable to use our handmade items.  While we miss being able to provide tote bags, cough pillows, blankets, pocket owls, etc to ease kids’ discomfort, we surely understand the precautions. Thora’s Thimbles and Hearts and Hands stand ready to go back into production when the time is right.

Our 2020 donations:

You will remember that 2020’s special project was aimed at helping doctors know which Neuroblastoma patients needed what kind of therapy with the hope of putting an end to that type of cancer.  The auxiliaries were so excited about this project that it was fully funded early in the year.  (PAA contributed $28,000 from the 2019 Nutcracker Tea proceeds, your year-end donations and part of your dues.) Good job, folks!  

Your generous donations for the virtual tea in October, some memorial gifts, the proceeds of the Holiday Faire in November and, again, year-end receipts allowed us to participate with $30,000 in a novel request from the Foundation.  The auxiliaries were asked to put together a matching fund with which to tempt donors to increase their donations or to entice new donors to the cause.  It was a HUGE success.  The Auxiliaries contributed $101,000.  Appeals were sent to 130,000 donors (who learned about the Auxiliaries’ match – some publicity for our work).  The total raised was $881,683, an 80% increase over 2019; there were 2,819 gifts, a 110% increase over 2019 and, very excitingly, 851 NEW donors.   Double good job, folks!!

Association of Auxiliaries:

Nancy Larsson completed her three-year term as the Association of Auxiliaries for Children president in January with these words, “I am forever grateful for this opportunity that has fed my soul and fostered friendships that will last a lifetime.  Please join me in welcoming our new president, Lisa Cole.”

Lisa Cole, has launched her presidency with an invitation to each auxiliary to rethink how we do what we do in order to be more effective, to think about bringing in new members and to set some solid goals for the future.  She encourages us to “reach out with questions, ideas or suggestions, working together as we navigate a new normal.”

Recently, we received a thank you letter from Krista Reuther of the Family Guidance and Bereavement Program for support from the Auxiliaries Endowment Fund for their School Project that provides guidance for teachers learning how to support grieving students in their classroom.  “Thanks to the support of the Auxiliaries, this project continues to advance.  Our manual for teachers got a make-over from our LPCH Marketing department this year, was given copyright, and now is in the hands of Bay Area teachers”.  And “Our Anticipatory Grief Project also continues, thanks again to the support of the Auxiliaries.  We have found the support from our program prior to death creates a more meaningful connection afterwards, which in turn, enhance family receptivity to continued care”.

And for 2021:

The presidents of the auxiliaries and the board of the Association reviewed several proposals for this year’s special project.  After tabulating everyone’s vote, Lisa Cole sent us this message:

“I’m happy to announce the 2021 Special Project” will support the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center and the equipment/licensing for the intraoperative True3D.  The Moore Heart Center is well known as one of the country’s leading pediatric cardiology programs and performs more life-saving surgeries and procedures than any other children’s hospital.  This is cutting edge technology that will be an incredible gift to the pediatric heart surgeons and cardiologists that treat the most complex cases.”

Going forward there will be “significant focus on the Moore Heart Center and the BASE project – Basic Science and Engineering – a program that brings engineers, geneticists, surgeons and cardiologists together to focus on getting to the root cause of congenital heart defects – funding this need is the right place for our Auxiliaries to focus our efforts”.

The launch of this Special Project will be at the Annual Celebration (virtual) Luncheon on April 20th.   You will get more information when we have confirmed the speaker.  Since they aren’t actually feeding us, I don’t think there will be any limitation on how many people can attend.  So, if you are able, keep the date open at the 11:00 slot.

One more thing:

(Actually two)  The membership committee is putting together the new inserts for our membership binders.  The “drop dead” date for getting in any changes you want noted in the new pages is April 7th.  Please let Stephanie Beach or Mary Koeppen know of any changes.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS for our next general meeting on Wednesday, April 21st at 10:00 a.m.  We’re going to try sending the Zoom link to all of you.  You will not need to R.S.V.P. but don’t forget to join us.  I’ll send the link on the day before the event.  Be sure to check your email.

Please forgive me if this is too long.  There just seems like there’s a lot to share with you.  Starting next month, Nancy Bronstein and Gerry Nelson are going to start writing the newsletter.  I know you will enjoy hearing from them.

Stay well and I hope to see you on Zoom on April 21st!      

Marilyn Anderson

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