Winchester Hospital Gala Raises Money for Cancer Services
When Suellen DeVito stood on stage at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in November, more than 600 corporate sponsors and leaders from the health care, business and local community were in attendance at Winchester Hospital’s 12th annual One Shining Night Gala.
The audience, mesmerized by her rendition of the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked, was the largest group to which she had ever sung. The annual Gala celebrates the care Winchester Hospital provides to the community and raises funds for its programs. This year the event supported the hospital’s cancer programs. DeVito’s own cancer journey and her moving performance underscored the significance of the Gala event.
It was shortly before Memorial Day in 2008 when the Woburn resident began treatment at Winchester Hospital for tongue cancer. The local actress and singer not only lost her ability to sing, but was unable to speak.
But within six months, DeVito had her voice back, even singing a solo at Symphony Hall for the cancer-support organization – Voices of Hope.
“The oncology department staff at Winchester Hospital are my heroes,” DeVito said. “They gave me the best care I could have asked for. They did everything they could to get me healthy.”
The event raised $428,000 through the generosity of its sponsors and attendees as well as live and silent auctions. This year, auction items included a one-week stay in Montecristo Estates on the Mexican Baja Peninsula; a $5,000 gift certificate to Long’s Jewelers; a six day/five night bicycle trip to Tuscany, Italy or Burgundy, France offered by DuVine Adventures; a five-night vacation in Telluride (Colorado) at the luxurious ski-in/ski-out Tristant Residences; one-week stay at Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort in Aruba; and a “Cook for the Cure” gourmet dinner.
The Winchester Hospital Gala’s “Galaxy” sponsor was Cummings Properties, Inc. “Shooting Star” sponsor was John Moriarty & Associates, Inc. “Sparkling Stars” sponsors were North Shore Radiological Associates, Inc.; Suffolk Construction, Winchester Laboratory Associates, PC and Strata Pathology Services, Inc.; and Gerry and Sheri Weber and Creative Office Pavilion. “Shimmering Stars” sponsors included Ann Blackham and Ann Norberg; Lahey Health; Middlesex Surgical Associates; Mr. & Mrs. Gerald O’Neil; Tufts Medical Center; Wingate Healthcare; Winchester Co-operative Bank and Woodbriar of Wilmington/Windsor Place Assisted Living.
As for DeVito, this past December she wrapped up a show for the Burlington Playhouse and has plans to continue auditioning and performing in community productions.
“Performing at the Gala gave me such a sense of courage,” DeVito said. “I felt such love in that room because it was centered on cancer. I thought I might never sing again, but I got my voice back and while I may not sound the same, I’m back to doing what I love.”
Next year, the Gala will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 at the Renaissance Waterfront Boston Hotel. To learn more about ticket or sponsorship opportunities for Winchester Hospital’s One Shining Night Gala, contact Maryann Zschau in the Winchester Hospital Foundation at (781) 756-2142.
About Winchester Hospital
Winchester Hospital is the first hospital in Massachusetts to earn Magnet recognition, the American Nurses Association’s highest honor for nursing excellence, three times. As the northwest suburban Boston area’s leading provider of comprehensive health care services, the 229-bed facility provides care in general, bariatric and vascular surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics, cardiology, pulmonary medicine, oncology, gastroenterology, rehabilitation, radiation oncology, pain management, obstetrics/gynecology and a Level IIB Special Care Nursery. Winchester Hospital has clinical affiliations with several nationally recognized hospitals in the region, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. To learn more, visit www.winchesterhospital.org.