On Wednesday, June 10, 2014, more than 500 philanthropists, volunteers, scholars and members of the media attended the 7th Annual Project HOPE Gala, “Hope for the Future” at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in downtown Washington, D.C. The gala highlighted Project HOPE’s achievements and future plans for its Women’s and Children’s Health practice area, one of five global health practice areas in which the organization specializes.
Founded in 1958 by World War II medical officer Dr. William B. Walsh, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere), a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, honored three outstanding individuals whose achievements have greatly improved and advanced long-term sustainable health care throughout their communities and around the world.
As attendees arrived, members of the valet staff escorted them from their vehicles to a long red carpet where professional photographers waited at the venue entrance to snap memories of an evening that was truly magical.
Once inside the venue, attendees mixed and mingled while enjoying sips of champagne and assorted spirits at the gala’s cocktail reception. Afterwards, guests made their way into the breathtaking Mellon auditorium where they enjoyed a dinner of smoked salmon, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, new potatoes, and milk chocolate truffles for dessert.
Throughout dinner, guests utilized iPads to participate in the silent auction which highlighted numerous artworks from children who have benefited from Project HOPE’S care.
The three 2014 honorees were the President of MercaSID, Jose Miguel Bonetti, Director of the University Children’s Hospital of Krakow, Dr. Maciej Kowalczyk, and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, whose Vice Chairman, Martin Murphy, accepted the honor on the organization’s behalf.
Mr. Bonetti was the recipient of the Global Health Leadership Award, an award that recognizes an individual who has championed health issues around the world, while Dr. Kowalczyk and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer were both recipients of the Global Health Impact Award in recognition of their time dedication to the fields of pediatric and nuclear medicine as well as their commitment to fighting cancer.
As each honoree accepted their award, a bell, which was once a fixture aboard the S.S. Hope, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship used to bring health and education and improved care to communities around the world, was rang to signify the long yet successful journey Project HOPE has made over the years.
Vice Chairman of CEO Roundtable on Cancer, Martin Murphy said it best: “No matter where we hit that bell, it will sing out the same tune; it is a tune of hope. It is our job to give hope to those who are bordering on hopelessness and change their darkness into light.”