SHORT HILLS – The celebration of life for organ and tissue transplant recipients and the courageous acts of donor families were honored at NJ Sharing Network’s 25th anniversary dinner on April 12 at the Short Hills Hilton. Attracting more than 300 guests, the evening was also dedicated to honoring New Jersey’s transplant centers and hospital partners for their continued support of the organ donation and transplantation community.
Highlighting the evening was the “Walk of Life” ceremony, which featured a living donor or donor family member walking with an organ or tissue recipient, representing the miracle of donation, to present NJ Sharing Network’s hospital partners with an award.
“Our 25th anniversary dinner and auction was a celebration for those given the gift of life through organ and tissue donation, and an opportunity to honor the families of organ and tissue donors,” said Joe Roth, president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network. “It was also an opportunity to thank members of the organ donation and transplantation community for saving lives each and every day.”
Unified in their support of NJ Sharing Network’s mission, guests enjoyed a fun-filled evening that featured a silent auction for Yankee box seat tickets, an overnight stay and massage for two at the Short Hills Hilton and many more incredible items. Those in attendance also congratulated “Ray of Hope” award recipient Mary DiNardo, the widow of Det. MarcAnthony DiNardo of the Jersey City Police Department, who was killed in July 2009. Mary DiNardo made the decision to donate her husband’s organs and tissue. The lives of three New Jerseyans were saved by the detective’s heart and two kidneys, while countless others benefited from the gift of tissue donation.
Planning months ahead, the 21-member dinner committee, led by Alberta D’Addio, a resident of Watchung and NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees member, and Morris Plains resident Susan Quiroga, manager of corporate planning and administration for NJ Sharing Network, hoped to raise not only a significant amount of money to help support NJ Sharing Network’s mission, but also establish new relationships with individuals and corporations to increase awareness as well as the number of people in New Jersey registered as organ and tissue donors.
“I was truly honored to be involved with such an incredible, moving event,” said Alberta D’Addio, who donated her husband, Joe’s, organs after he suffered a fatal cerebral brain hemorrhage in 2009. “As a donor wife, being asked to co-chair the anniversary dinner had a personal meaning for me. The lives saved and lives enhanced over the past 25 years by the miraculous work of NJ Sharing Network and their hospital partners deserve to be honored.”
NJ Sharing Network’s 25th anniversary initiatives are sponsored by Barnabas Health, Brinton Eaton, CJS Violations Services, Document Solutions, Genentech, a member of Roche Group, Hackensack University Medical Center, Investors Bank, Jeffrey Sobel Consulting, LifeCell Corporation, Lourdes Health System, Magnetmailers.com, LLC, Mark & Helen Reagan, Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, Pfizer, Inc., PNC Wealth Management, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Saul Ewing, LLC, ShopRite (Village Supermarkets), SourceOne Communications Group, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Wells Fargo Bank, NA, Williams H. Connolly & Co., LLC, Wiss & Company, LLP, The Hampshire Companies, and Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide.
Proceeds from the anniversary dinner benefit the NJ Sharing Network Foundation, which provides funding for NJ Sharing Network to help create and support organ donor registration campaigns, public education and research initiatives.
For more information about the life-saving work of NJ Sharing Network, visit www.njsharingnetwork.org.
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