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The CalvertHealth Gala Tradition Continues

Fundraising Effort Aims to Transform Cancer Care in Our Community

The CalvertHealth Foundation is pleased to present the 2022 Gala for Cancer Care on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the MGM National Harbor Grand Ballroom. For more than 30 years, friends of the hospital have come together for one memorable evening to raise meaningful support for critical programs and services.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID concerns, the ball is back. Proceeds from this year’s gala will help support the advancement of cancer care at CalvertHealth Medical Center (CHMC) – including the development of a robotic surgery program and an affiliation with a national leader in cancer care that will open the doors to clinical trials and research for local patients close to home.

“The theme for this year’s gala ‘Where Hope Grows’ underscores the significant impact this fundraising initiative will have on the lives of those who rely on CalvertHealth Medical Center for their cancer care,” said Foundation Chair Denise Bowman.

“When my dad’s colon cancer was found 30 years ago during an appendectomy, he was 57. They closed him up and told my mom he had maybe two years to live,” said Linda Sinagra-Smith of Huntingtown.

“It was a small community hospital in Connecticut. They didn’t have the knowledge and the expertise to care for him. It was a very difficult time … all of their children had jobs and no one was able to go up there to be with them. “I was living in Virginia with my husband who was in the Navy and our three young children who were in school and couldn’t leave.

“So, my mom took him to Boston, two hours away, where she stayed in a hotel while he was treated because there was nothing back home. He lived to be 83.”

She went on to add, “As a breast cancer survivor treated by Dr. (Theodore) Tsangaris at CalvertHealth’s Surgery Center, I can tell you it means a great deal to be able to get the expert care you need without having to travel far.”

Dedicated to Raising the Bar on Excellence

“We are very excited to announce we will be returning to our in-person gala on Nov. 12th at the MGM National Harbor,” said Gala Co-chair Teresa Schrodel. “This cause is very close to my heart. My husband, Michael, died of testicular cancer 21 years ago.”

Her co-chair, Linda Sinagra- Smith of Huntingtown, has her own cancer story. “In the summer of 1991, my dad’s appendix burst and he needed surgery. During the procedure, it was discovered he had colon cancer.”

She went on to add, “I am very proud to be co-chairing this year’s gala with Teresa. Cancer care is one of the highest priorities we have in our county. I don’t think there is one person in Calvert who has not been touched by some form of cancer … with a friend, a family member or themselves.

“When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you want one thing – the best care for them,” said Sinagra- Smith. “The affiliation with Duke Health is about bringing the best to our community by expanding access to the lastest research and clinical trials. So, our loved ones can get world-class cancer care close to home…close to family and friends… close to the emotional support that makes all the difference.”

Be a Part of Something Big

According to Schrodel, the gala committee has spent months planning what promises to be a spectacular evening. “We have a wonderful group of volunteers,” she said. “They are so dedicated to helping the hospital get better and better.”

The popular black-tie gala is the hospital’s largest and longest-running fundraiser. Since it began, the ball has raised more than $5.6 million – helping to equip the Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care, to create the Mobile Health Center, to add private patient rooms and to expand behavioral health services.

Don’t miss what has become one of Calvert’s most highly anticipated events. A choice of sponsorship packages is available including reserved seating and special recognition. Tickets are $350 per person/$700 per couple and include a cocktail reception, fine dining and dancing to great music by Infusion.

“We want to thank our early sponsors and especially our presenting sponsor, the DeCesaris/Prout Cancer Foundation, for their generosity, loyalty and passion for helping CHMC provide the highest quality cancer care for Southern Maryland residents,” said Theresa Johnson, Vice President for Brand Strategy and Philanthropy.

The gala also features a silent auction where guests can bid on a curated selection of items from sports tickets to artwork. Dickinson Jewelers, a longtime hospital supporter, is once again sponsoring the jewelry raffle where one lucky ticket holder will win a $5,000 shopping spree at their store. “My husband was 29 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2000,” said Teresa Schrodel, who lived in Churchton then. “It was so advanced there was no specialist who could handle it at the time at Calvert.

“We had a one-year-old at home,” she said. “Giving up wasn’t an option. His fraternity brother in Michigan helped coordinate drivers to make the 100-mile round trip with him every day for six weeks for radiation and chemotherapy in downtown Baltimore.

“When they couldn’t do anymore for him, we traveled to Indianapolis to see Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, who wrote the protocol for treating testicular cancer. “I lost Michael on Aug. 23, 2001. My hope is that others do not have to go through what we went through… leaving the county… to see specialists.”
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