Dragonfly Foundation Grand Gala Created a Night to Remember

Dragonfly Foundation Co-Founders Ria Davidson (L) and Christine Neitzke (R) address guests during the 8th Annual Dragonfly Grand Gala presented by Huntington Bank March 2, 2019 at Cincinnati’s Music Hall.

Malinda Hartong, Hartong Digital Media

Dragonfly Foundation Grand Gala Created a Night to Remember


The 8th Annual Dragonfly Grand Gala presented by Huntington Bank - organized to enable the foundation to continue to serve the more than 1,200 pediatric cancer families representing more than 5,200 adults and children - created a memorable evening Saturday, March 2 at Music Hall.

Drs. John Perentesis and Stella Davies from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Cancer & Blood Diseases Institute (CBDI) were honored by Dragonfly co-founders Christine Neitzke and Ria Davidson with the annual 44 Award, which recognizes unwavering commitment, passion and enthusiasm for the mission of supporting pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Dr. Perentesis and Dr. Davies are world-renown experts in the fields of oncology and hematology, respectively. Under their leadership, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s CBDI was recently recognized as the No. 1 Pediatric Cancer Hospital in the United States by US News & World Report.

“Pages are not enough to describe the impact these two incredible medical professionals have had on research, treatments, therapies, patients and hospitals,” Neitzke said. “Their role in the genesis of The Dragonfly Foundation can be simply stated: we would not be here without them nor would my son, Matt, who is in remission today as a result of the CBDI oncology team’s work.”

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the opportunity to present our humble award to two larger-than-life, powerhouse doctors whose concern for patients transcends medical care and extends into the family. They have brought our foundation strength, courage, and joy we will continue to pass on to all families we encounter.”

The evening additionally featured a formal dinner prepared by Jeff Thomas Catering, live musical performances Kealy Welage, Billy Larkin, and the Endless Summer Band, an African Penguin encounter courtesy of Newport Aquarium, TapSnap photo booth, silent auction and multiple opportunities for guests to win prizes.

About The Dragonfly Foundation

The Dragonfly Foundation, founded in 2010, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage and joy. They do this by providing emotional, relational, and practical support.

The fight for excellence in pediatric cancer treatment is important, but no less important is the commitment we must make to support the families that strive for fulfilling and complete lives during and after treatment. Though treatment may end, and illness may be cured or managed, the long-term effects of factors like internal group tension, familial isolation, post-traumatic stress, the anxiety of recurrence, and the emotional, physical and financial toll on the family unit often linger for years to come. While the importance of quality healthcare is a commonly shared value, we must remember to offer families a holistic, uncompromising, fighting chance at well-being, which is Dragonfly's urgent, passionate mission.

Visit Dragonfly.org for information.

- Dragonfly Foundation -
Helping pediatric cancer patients and families find strength, courage and joy!
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