Akron Children’s Hospital is fortunate to have countless volunteers and donors who support the hospital’s mission of helping every child who comes through our doors.
For National Philanthropy Day, we’re pleased to recognize several supporters as part of this national event that pays tribute to the contributions philanthropy makes in our communities.
“Philanthropy happens every day at our hospital,” said John Zoilo, executive director of the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation. “National Philanthropy Day gives us a formal stage to say thank you for the contributions these individuals make, as well as recognize their tireless efforts that make our hospital a better place.”
Akron Children’s recognized this year’s philanthropy standouts at National Philanthropy Day celebrations hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ North Central Ohio Chapter and Mahoning/Shenango chapters:
Greg and Tiffany Michalec were nominated by the hospital for the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award. The couple says they are just parents, not fundraisers, but there are more than a million reasons why the hospital thinks of them as donors, too.
When their twins Katie and Cory were born at 26 weeks, Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) became a “home away from home” for Greg and Tiffany. To show their gratitude, the Michalecs pledged to raise $1 million in 10 years for the hospital through their annual event, An Evening of Wine and Wishes. After just 8 years, the Michalec’s reached their goal.
Akron Children’s was also delighted to acknowledge the time and talents of Madeline Bozzelli, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, nominated by Mature Services, Inc. We’re grateful for her decades of fundraising and community service as a member and now current president of the Friends of Akron Children’s Hospital.
Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley was pleased to recognize Outstanding Philanthropist Award recipient Eleanor Watanakunakorn for her generosity and philanthropic leadership. Eleanor’s life-long dedication to health education, research and service has positively impacted the lives of thousands of individuals.
A few of her many contributions include the largest single contribution to the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Foundation in honor of her late husband. At Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley, the Dr. Chatrchai and Eleanor Watanakunakorn Medical Education Fund was created to provide continuing medical education to pediatric healthcare professionals in the Mahoning Valley.
Most recently, Eleanor donated $1 million to create a new special care nursery on the Akron Children’s Beeghly campus in Boardman. The new nursery is named in honor of her granddaughter Alexis Caroline Watanakunakorn.
Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley also nominated The Caring Kids Club for the Outstanding Young Philanthropist Award. This charitable organization was started by and is run by children in Mahoning Valley.
Boardman student Karlynn Riccitelli approached her parents with the idea to start a club that would help raise money to support children with disabilities and other needs. For more than 3 years, Karlynn and her best friend, Olivia Cmil, have been holding regular meetings and fundraising events that support their mission, “To encourage children to get involved and make a difference in the life of children in need.”
The group also donates each year to the Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley Miracles and Promises Radiothon to support local programs and services of the hospital.