NEW YORK – The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today it raised a record $21.5 million at its spring gala, Destination Celebration, held last Thursday, April 25, at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. The system-wide fundraiser exceeded expectations, attracting a sold-out crowd of more than 1,200 who enjoyed special performances by Harry Connick, Jr. and the LaGuardia Arts High School. The event, which the health system holds every five years, was co-hosted by Bravo television host and author Andy Cohen and NBC-TV News special correspondent Meredith Vieira.
North Shore-LIJ President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Dowling said the health system’s multi-year fundraising campaign, called Destination 2020, is the largest fundraising campaign in the health system’s 16-year history. “Every five years we hold a health system gala to benefit the more than seven million people living in the communities we serve across the metropolitan area,” he said. “It is our mission to be constantly transformative and innovative but at the core of all we do, it is always about the patient.”
Thanks to the proceeds from Thursday night’s gala, North Shore-LIJ Chairman Richard D. Goldstein said, “We have surpassed the halfway mark of our $750 million campaign, Destination 2020. It was truly a remarkable evening and all of our patients and supporters should be proud of what we have accomplished.”
Mr. Cohen and Ms. Vieira talked about the important services and programs provided by North Shore-LIJ and the more than four million lives that the health system touches every year. “North Shore-LIJ has an unparalleled commitment to our military men and women, and is working directly with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help those returning soldiers and their families,” said Mr. Cohen. Ms. Vieira added, “As a mother, I know the importance of having a dedicated children’s hospital and Cohen Children’s Medical Center is the largest provider of pediatric health services in New York State.”
Both also spoke about the role of North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Emergency Medical Services in meeting the needs of local residents and employees during Superstorm Sandy, noting that all 16 hospitals remained fully operational and accepted and transported more than 700 patients from other facilities, as well as provided mobile medical services in devastated regions like the Rockaways.
The evening’s performances began with a patriotic rendition of, “God Bless America,” sung by the show choir of the famed LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan. After dinner there was a special performance by Grammy award-winning, multi-talented Harry Connick, Jr. and his orchestra, followed by a spectacular fireworks display by Grucci on the Hudson.
CNN News anchor Chris Cuomo presented Mr. Dowling during the evening’s program. Also in attendance were award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon, music industry icon Clive Davis, co-host of ABC’s The View Sherri Shepherd, award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth, award-winning actress Christine Baranski, fashion icon and supermodel Carol Alt, award-winning photographer Joe McNally and sports commentator Al Trautwig.
The event not only announced the launch of the public campaign but also celebrated North Shore-LIJ’s growth and progress achieved over the past five years, including the opening of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and the health system’s expansion into Manhattan with the addition of Lenox Hill Hospital.
To see a video of the Destination Celebration and photos from the evening, visit: https://support.northshorelij.com/destinationcelebration
About North Shore-LIJ Health System
The nation's third-largest, non-profit, secular healthcare system, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education, highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals, long-term care facilities and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 46,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest employer on Long Island and the third-largest private employer in New York City. For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com.