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Dinner by Starlite

St. Luke's Hospital - Allentown Campus Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Dinner by Starlite

Fundraiser Honors Local Shining Stars, Benefits St. Luke’s Community Health Initiatives for Allentown Youth

Allentown, PA (11/1/2011) – For the last ten years, St. Luke’s Hospital – Allentown Campus has been honoring Shining Stars, people and organizations recognized for their contributions to the community.

This year’s special anniversary of the Dinner by Starlight event will be held on Thursday,November 10 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Fogelsville to benefit mobile medical, dental and vision services for youth in the Allentown community. This support helps ensure that no child who has a medical need will go untreated.

“St. Luke’s cares about our community, and we take pride in helping the city’s school-aged children who are underserved, ” said Frank Ford, Allentown Campus President. “The Mobile Health Initiative provides easy access to medical, dental and vision services – working with the school district administration and school nurses, the mobile vans come to the schools and provide care on-site. There is nothing more rewarding then knowing these children are receiving necessary checkups that otherwise they would not receive.”

Since its inception, Dinner by Starlight has raised more than $750,000 to support programs and services of St. Luke’s Hospital – Allentown Campus. This year more than 380 guests are slated to attend. Tickets are $150.00 each and are available by calling/emailing Celeste Voyer at voyerc@slhn.org or 610-628-8782. Donations to the Mobile Health Initiative will also be accepted.

More than 35 corporate sponsors are supporting the event, which includes a silent auction with approximately 90 items, a sit-down dinner and a formal program to recognize St. Luke’s Honorary and Shining Stars.

The Honorary star of this year’s Dinner by Starlight Kostas Kalogeropoulos. He has been the generous Dinner by Starlight host for the past ten years. He was a driving force behind the Drive for Healthy Kids Campaign that raised $1.5 million to secure four new health vans for the St. Luke’s Mobile Health Initiative – two of which are designated for the St. Luke’s Hospital – Allentown Campus to expand the Mobile Health Program for youth. The program helps to insure basic health care resources for the community’s children.

This year, PPL Corporation was named Honorary Corporate Shining Star for its financial contribution to St. Luke’s and the Allentown community and its encouragement of employees to share time and talent with local schools, non-profits and community organizations. PPL corporate staff have provided volunteer leadership, direction and support for St. Luke’s Hospital – Allentown Campus community initiatives, including the expansion of the Mobile Health Program. This is the first year that a corporate Shining Star was identified.

Nominations for the 2011 Shining Stars were solicited from the community and from local not-for-profit organizations in the greater Lehigh area.

The program honors an additional four adults and one child from the greater Lehigh Valley area. Nominations were solicited from the community and from local not-for-profit organizations.

Shining stars for 2011 are the Boutique at the Rink event, Nancy Carr, Patricia Jenkins, Natalie Miller and youth star Emily Smith.

2011 Shining Stars

Boutique at the Rink organization

Nominated by St. Luke’s Visiting Nurse Association

Boutique at the Rink is a Bethlehem shopping tradition that supports The Cancer Support Community, St. Luke’s Cancer Center and St. Luke’s Hospice. Each spring, hundreds of volunteers gather to receive new and used items, sort the items, price them and display them for sale. For four days, the Bethlehem Ice Rink is transformed into the largest shopping experience of the region. Under the direction of Francie DeSalvio and Susan Haytmanek-Domcheck, the volunteers continue to improve the experience for shoppers and donors and streamline operations. This year, $126,000 was returned to the benefactors for programming and endowment.

Nancy Carr, Coopersburg

Nominated by St. John’s United Church of Christ, Coopersburg

For 10 years Nancy Carr and a team of volunteers at St. John’s have lead the Community Outreach Benefit, or COB. The COB originated when Nancy and fellow church members wanted to assist a young parish couple with crushing medical expenses. Since 2002, the COB has raised $370,000 for 31 families who are burdened by medical expenses that go beyond their insurance and/or ability to pay. Under Mrs. Carr’s leadership this small church, usually with fewer than 75 people in the pews on Sunday mornings, has found ways to be very successful. A key reason for this success is that St. John ’s UCC partners with other churches, businesses and institutions in the Southern Lehigh and Upper Bucks areas to make the event work efficiently. Generous sponsors and donors enable almost every dollar raised to be given to beneficiaries.

Patricia Jenkins, Allentown

Nominated by residents of B'nai B'rith Apartments

Pat volunteers for various animal rescue groups, the game preserve at B’nai B’rith Apartments, Phoebe Home and with St. Luke’s – Allentown Campus. Pat provides transportation for senior residents to the store, physician appointments and more. She keeps an eye on seniors residents who may forget to eat and will take them out for a meal to keep them active. Pat is well known for her love of animals and often cares for neighbors’ pets while their owners are on vacation, ill or in the hospital without expecting any remuneration.

Pat read about a program which sends grocery coupons to military bases for the families overseas so they may save money and decided she wanted to help. Over the past year, Pat has coordinated the collection and mailing of hundreds of pounds of coupons.

Natalie Miller, Bethlehem

Nominated by Green Hope Charities volunteers

Natalie and her husband Paul are the founders of Green Hope Charities. Green Hope works tirelessly to raise funds for the cancer research programs at St. Luke’s Hospital. Natalie also hosts fundraising events for St. Luke’s MS programs and obstetrical units as well as community groups such as the Cop-N-Kids literacy program, among others. Natalie supports many organizations that need gift certificates for their SouthSide Bethlehem restaurant Loopers Bar & Grill as prizes for drawings or for use in auctions. Her kindness and willingness to help others is hard to duplicate.

Emily Smith, Fogelsville

Nominated by St. Luke’s Hospice

When Emily Smith was a senior in high school, she shared the story of compassion and dignity that her grandmother Betty Gates received while under St. Luke’s Hospice care. She so inspired the 2009 Senior Class of Northwestern Lehigh High School, that the students spent their senior year raising money and awareness for St. Luke’s Hospice. As the granddaughter of Elmer Gates and daughter of Patti Smith, Emily is an impressive young lady who is continuing a legacy of advocacy, outreach and community support. Emily is currently a sophomore in college.

Starlight sponsor for the event is Highmark Blue Shield and Media Sponsor is Lehigh Valley Press.