The 2016 Give Kids A Shot! Gala


When one learns of the horrors of bacterial meningitis–fast-spreading rashes, amputated fingers and limbs, and in some cases, death–it seems unfathomable that such an infection claims lives every year, especially when there is a vaccine to prevent it and treatments to cure it.

Since 2002, the National Meningitis Association has worked diligently to bring education, awareness, support and funding on meningitis prevention to families, communities, and medical professionals. Among their many programs, including Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.s) and Together Educating About Meningitis (T.E.A.M.), the NMA recently held their annual Give Kids a Shot! Gala in New York City.

Hosted at The Pierre Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side on Monday, May 9th, the gala honored Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch with the Nancy Ford Springer Award, Carl Buher and Michael Laforgia with the T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Awards, and Paul Lee, MD with the Health Achievement Award.


Of them, NMA President Lynn Bozof said,

“This year’s honorees truly embody the National Meningitis Association’s mission and we are thrilled to celebrate their extraordinary contributions at this year’s gala. We are thankful to everyone who has given so generously so that we can continue our work to help protect our children from the devastating effects of meningitis.”

Attracting a number of notable attendees, I found myself within the graces of event chairs Lenore Cooney, Sara Herbert-Galloway, Errol Rappaport and Gary Springer. Honorary Chairs included Ambassador and Mrs. John L. Loeb, Jr., Liv Ullmann and Donald Saunders and Nick Springer.


It was quite an outstanding and emotional event, with live performances by the talented and spectacular Darius de Haas, who is currently featured in Broadway’s “Shuffle Along,” and Tito Puente Jr., musician and bandleader. The lively tunes created an exceptionally memorable ambiance in the hotel perched on the southeast corner of Central Park.



In addition to the incredible performances was the highly-anticipated and much-celebrated NMA Silent Auction. Featuring invaluable experiences like tickets to a New York Rangers game, including dinner with Hockey Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert and an exclusive VIP experience from NASCAR Spring Cup, complete with access to the Pit, driver meet-and-greet and a ride in the Pace car, it was surely a night that won’t soon go forgotten.


All funds raised from the Give Kids a Shot! Gala went on to support the work of the National Meningitis Association.

For more photos of the event, visit NMA’s Facebook page here!

Gala flyer courtesy of the National Meningitis Association.


About the NMA 

The National Meningitis Association (NMA) works to protect families from the devastating effects of meningococcal disease by educating the public, medical professionals and others about the disease and vaccines available to prevent it.

NMA was formed in 2002 by parents whose children died or live with permanent disabilities from meningococcal disease. Like many families, NMA’s founders were unaware that meningococcal disease vaccination could have prevented their anguish. Since NMA was founded, great strides have been made in meningitis prevention. NMA has supported the creation of broad recommendations for meningococcal vaccines to protect all preteens and teens, worked to advocate for state vaccination requirements and helped increase awareness and vaccine uptake. The organization also provides emotional support for individuals and families who have experienced meningococcal disease. To accomplish its goals, NMA develops programs and resources that reach audiences on national and grassroots levels. Parents, disease survivors and other family members help carry out NMA’s mission by conducting community awareness activities across the country through two key programs: Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.s) and Together Educating About Meningitis (T.E.A.M.).

For disease and prevention information, downloadable resources and personal stories from M.O.M.s and T.E.A.M. members, please visit WWW.NMAUS.ORG.

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