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Gala 2016

The historic and elegant Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC turned purple in honor of all women’s cancer, the theme of the Sixth Annual Gala of the American Foundation for Saint George Hospital, on Saturday November 5, 2016.

All proceeds from the gala will go to support prevention and early detection of women's cancer in the underserved and needy communities in Lebanon. Saint George Hospital will provide transportation for women from remote areas to be screened for cancer and referred for treatment if needed.

We had more than 340 friends join us, raised more than $165,000 for cancer screening programs for needy women to allow them to come to Saint George Hospital for that purpose and enjoyed an evening of inspirational speeches, great music and dance.

Dr. Amin Barakat, President of the Board of Directors welcomed guests, gave an overview about the hospital and the foundation and conveyed that in 2016, 100 women have been transported from different areas in Lebanon to get screened for breast cancer with funds raised at last year’s gala.

Dr. Imad El Hajj, medical director at Saint George Hospital, spoke of programs established at the hospital to protect the lives of women in Lebanon as well as programs to protect the health of the refugees and health fairs in various communities. Dr. El Hajj highlighted that the hospital is at the forefront of Cancer treatment, Cardiology and a Level 1 Trauma Center. The staff at the hospital has received vigorous training in life support and hazardous material contaminations. The hospital has joined hands with School Pulse, a program to teach pediatric cancer patients while hospitalized.

Dr. Shawna Willey, Professor of Surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center and past president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons addressed the audience about the importance of cancer screening and the significant role Saint George Hospital is playing in protecting the lives of women in Lebanon. A breast surgeon with more than 30 years of experience and a prolific author, Dr. Willey is recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership and expertise.

We were privileged to honor two Lebanese-American community leaders, Mr. Edward Ameen and Ms. Diane Rehm for inspiring others to support Saint George Hospital and for making a difference in our communities. Mr. Ameen is a prominent Tampa Bay businessman and entrepreneur, dedicated to numerous charitable causes serving as director and trustee of various organizations including St. Petersburg Free Clinic, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay, Mahaffey Theater Foundation and All Children’s Hospital and Foundation. Ms. Rehm who began her radio career in 1973, is Host and Executive Producer of The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU-NPR. A courageous and leading voice in the media, Ms. Rehm has interviewed many political and cultural figures, including John McCain, Barack Obama and Madeleine Albright. She is also an avid advocate of women’s rights.

Ms. Elise Labott, CNN Global Affairs correspondent, who considers honoree Diane Rehm one of her most important mentors, emceed the event and delivered an emotional testimonial about her friend’s fight with cancer.

Auctioneer Richard Craney from Red Apple Auctions led an exciting and enjoyable live auction and live appeal and helped us shatter our previous live appeal records.

The renowned Bassam Saba Ensemble came from New York to captivate us with Arabic songs and music from the classical to the contemporary. Guests also enjoyed a performance from the Acada Jazz Ensemble. The evening concluded with dabke and dancing to Arabic music.

View and download photos from the event.

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