Etihad Airways’ Chief People and Performance Officer, Ray Gammell, led the way in the unveiling of the anticipated Etihad Airways Room at the Children’s National Medical Center, located in Washington D.C. Mr. Gammell was accompanied by His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States, Kurt Newman, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s National, and Fox News anchor Bret Baier, member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, during the reveal.
The event began after a tour of the Cardiac ICU, located in Children’s National’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. Here, Etihad Airways provided additional funding for more hospital rooms. Gammell: “Children’s National is a medical centre of excellence, ensuring that the latest technology and treatments are provided to children who need them most.”
The generosity of Etihad Airways was manifested more intimate ways as well. Each Etihad flight has a “Flying Nanny,” who is trained, certified, and has a knack for children. The “Flying Nannies” flew in and made the trip. The Nannies visited with the hospital’s youngsters, and they provided them with a variety of amusements. The kids were entertained, through mediums of coloring, face painting, origami, and a variety of other undertakings provided by the Nannies.
After the aforementioned occurrences, Children’s National’s “Dream a Little Dream” Fundraiser Ball took place at the Ritz-Carlton. The ball, which is hosted annually, boasted nearly 1,000 guests. The guests: congressmen, senators, celebrities, and other persons of prominence, were video-welcomed by President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Kurt Newman, MD, and His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba were, along with Eric Cantor (R), House Majority Leader, some of those involved in the speaking engagements. Wolfgang Puck, celebrated restaurateur and chef, provided the guests with a scrumptious dinner meal.
At the conclusion of dinner, Bret Baier led the gathering in a fundraising auction. All of the auction’s royalties added up to a record: $10.7 million. These funds went directly to the benefit of Children’s National.
Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children’s National, said: “We are so appreciative of the Etihad Airways’ support…Their generous support truly enables our teams to think bigger and do more for our patients.”
Etihad Airways’ Room(s) at Children’s National, and its role in sponsoring the “Dream a Little Dream” Ball, have provided means that will support the livelihood of many young patients in need.