Record crowd expected for festivities at the Morgantown Event Center

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The ninth annual edition of the West Virginia University Children’s Hospital Gala will be a “Thriller” – especially when Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Cover Band takes the stage.

“We are thrilled to be expecting a record-breaking crowd of approximately 850 people for this year’s gala,” Cheryl Jones, R.N., director of WVU Children’s Hospital, said. “The gala has always been our largest single event in terms of the number of people involved and the amount of money raised. The fact that it continues to grow is a testament to the amazing support we have in the Morgantown community and throughout the state.”

The black-tie gala will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Morgantown Event Center with a cocktail reception and silent auction.  At 7 p.m., Mark Polak, M.D., director of the WVU Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), will receive the WVU Children’s Hospital Award and former state legislator Mike Ross, who donated $1 million to WVU Children’s Hospital and the WVU Department of Pediatrics in 2011 to combat pediatric diabetes, will receive the WVU Children’s Hospital Community Leader Award.

Cadence “Cady” Pierce, West Virginia’s 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Champion Child, and her family will be at the gala to share their story about the care Cady received at WVU Children’s Hospital.

A “Bid for Good,” which is a new feature of the event, will take place at 8 p.m. During this live auction, gala attendees will be encouraged to use their bidding paddles to make cash donations to WVU Children’s Hospital, which will go toward the purchase of a special incubator for the NICU. Other items up for grabs during the live auction include dinner with WVU football Coach Dana Holgorsen, a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey night with a practice jersey autographed by the team, a Nemacolin Woodlands retreat and a one-week escape to Puerto Rico.

At 9:30 p.m., Who’s Bad will perform songs from Michael Jackson’s catalog – from his days with the Jackson 5 through his solo career. The evening will wrap up with Powerhouse Band, which will take the stage at 10:45 p.m.

Attention reporters and editors: If you plan to cover the WVU Children’s Hospital Gala, please call Angela Jones, HSC News Service, at 304-293-7087 in advance.

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 02-06-12