Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

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University Hospitals Partnership for Families “Together We Make a Family – The Stars Align”

With family at its core, University Hospitals Partnership for Families presented “Together We Make a Family,” The Stars Align, a benefit drawing more than 400 guests to the Country Club in Pepper Pike.

A summer soiree featuring an elegant dinner, dancing and heartfelt presentations, the benefit raised a University Hospitals record of more than $500,000 for Partnership, which aims at giving couples and individuals a chance to have a healthy family through infertility treatments.

Honorary Chair Matthew P. Figgie said to those in attendance that he was both honored and humbled to share in the evening. To be able to give the gift of family to those couples who would not otherwise experience it is “priceless,” he said. The benefit was in honor of the memory of his mother, Nancy F. Figgie. “Nothing was more important to my mom than family,” Mr. Figgie noted.

Partnership for Families, based at the UH Fertility Center at UH Ahuja Medical Center, provides grants to qualified couples or women who have unsuccessfully completed an IVF cycle and cannot afford a second attempt. The organization, which has assisted over 50 couples and helped with the conception of more than 300 children, was founded in 2004 by Dr. James M. Goldfarb and Nancy Lerner.`“It’s an extraordinary number and a number we should be proud of,” Ms. Lerner said.

“There are such generous donors who make this work,” Dr. Goldfarb added in appreciation. “I’m just the messenger. I’ve stood on the shoulders of so many who shared the vision of Partnership for Families.”

Presenting sponsors for the evening were Figgie Capital and The Figgie Foundation, as well as Norma and Nancy Lerner. Benefit co-chairs were Allyson and Kelly O’Keefe and Niki and Brian Schaefer. Guests were each given a stunning Tiffany crystal bowl adorned with stars in light of the evening’s theme and courtesy of Mr. Figgie.

Giving a poignant presentation was the event’s guest speaker, Shannon Petrella, of Elyria. She and her husband Greg, veterans of the U.S. Navy, battled infertility for more than 16 years. Thanks to the IVF funded by UH Partnership for Families, they welcomed daughter Sienna this February. “Words cannot express the gratitude I feel,” Ms. Petrella said with emotion. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUE REID

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