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Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

Shriners Hospital


Unlocking Dreams Gala supports specialized treatment for children

Dreams still come true – and Shriners Hospitals for Children-Shreveport sees them happen every day. The 2020 Unlocking Dreams Fundraising Gala benefitting the for Children-Shreveport, will be held at 6 p.m. on March 14 at the Eldorado Casino and Resort in Shreveport.

Shriners Hospital-Shreveport provides specialized pediatric care for orthopedic issues, cleft lip and palate, and fractures. “Shriners Hospital for Children-Shreveport is the world’s first Shriners Hospital, and that is a legacy that Shreveport can be proud of,” Jennifer Martin, director of development for Shriners Hospital for Children-Shreveport, said. “We’re the only Shriners Hospital in the region and the only one in Louisiana. We’ve been around for nearly a century, and plan to be around for that much longer!” Shriners Hospitals for Children- Shreveport is unique in that it treats children regardless of a family’s ability to pay. “This means that there is no cost to the family, even if they have health insurance,” Martin said. “The funds raised through this gala event, and other donations, are essential for Shriners Shreveport Hospital to continue our work and help more children.”

Last year at the 2019 gala, over $100,000 was raised to support the hospital. This year’s event will feature a reception, silent and live auctions, an inspirational guest speaker, dinner, instant raffle and the Fund-A-Need campaign, which supports the motion analysis program – the only one in the region.

People should come out to support the great cause and have a great time. There will be plenty of entertainment on hand, provided by The George Hancock Band, and a delicious seafood buffet. “The lieutenant governor is very supportive of our work and has sponsored the seafood for the last two years through a grant from the Louisiana Seafood Promotion Board,” Martin said.

And that’s not all! “Austin Oliver is our speaker, who is a former patient and now a Shriner himself,” Martin said. “He will share his story about Shriners and why he is now a Shriner who helps other children receive the same care he did. He is very passionate about Shriners Shreveport Hospital and the work that we do.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children- Shreveport treated a record number of children in 2019, seeing nearly 19,000 children from a six-state area as well as the Republic of Panama. “All donations and proceeds from this event, and other donations made to the Shreveport Shriners Hospital, stay in Shreveport, treating the children that are served by this hospital,” Martin said.

The hospital is grateful for its faithful donors who help keep it going – and the gala is the perfect place to recognize that faithfulness over the years. “As with our inaugural event, the Unlocking Dreams Gala will include two special donor recognition awards,” Martin said. “The Dreamer Award honors an individual and an organization that has made a significant contribution to the mission of the Shreveport Shriners Hospital. Past award winners were Paul Pratt of the Haynesville Shale Bass Tournament, and founding members of the High Lifter annual off-road mud ride. This year’s honorees are David and Teresa Disiere and Webb Professional Roofing.”

“The gala also offers an opportunity to support a pillar of Shreveport’s history and current economic community driver,” Martin said. “Patients and their families travel from six states for care in Shreveport. It’s a great, inspirational evening as we honor those who have supported us, and we learn more about the work of the hospital. We have some terrific auction items as well!” Martin is especially excited for people to learn more about the Motion Analysis Lab and what it does to benefit children. “The Motion Analysis Lab at Shriners Shreveport Hospital quantifies the gait and foot patterns of a child and helps to identify the exact issue with their gait,” Martin explained. “This technology is similar to what is used in the motion picture industry to make films such as ‘Avatar’ and ‘Polar Express.’ The technology gives the medical staff data that would not otherwise be available and is crucial to determining the best possible solution for each child.”


Tickets cost $125 each, and tables of eight are available for $1,000. Please visit www.firstshriners.org to purchase tickets or to make a donation and help make dreams come true.


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