The Miriam Hospital Gala and Auction

Grease is the Word
With Danny and Sandy center stage, the Rydell High Dance Troup performs Grease Lightning.

Grease is the Word, The Miriam Hospital’s 2019 Gala, Raises $702,830

On Saturday, May 11, The Miriam Hospital took more than 450 guests back in time to Rydell High when the hospital transformed the Wheeler School Van Norman Field House for its 2019 gala and auction, Grease is the Word! Inspired by the iconic musical turned film, the signature event raised a total of $702,830.

The funds will benefit The Miriam Fund for a New Generation for hospital programs and improvements with the most crucial and pressing needs. Of the total raised, the event’s auction and fund-a-need generated $316,811 in support of The Miriam’s colorectal cancer program to improve outcomes and quality of life in three crucial areas: navigation, survivorship, and patient assistance.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donor family and the dedication of our medical leaders and our staff, The Miriam is in the vanguard of research, medical treatment, and technology, not only in the region, but in the nation,” said Arthur J. Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital. “So many give of their time, talent, and treasure not because The Miriam has needs, but because it meets needs.”

Chaired by Samara and Stuart Feldman, the evening event began with a cocktail reception, followed by remarks from hospital leadership. Guests were then introduced to a Miriam patient and oncology nurse who shared her very personal, and very moving journey with cancer.

“As nurses, all of us at The Miriam know how blessed we are to have such compassionate donors in our corner,” said Michelle Moreau. “And as a patient, I experienced firsthand what they make possible for our cancer program – I am just one example of their truly lifesaving support.”

Prior to dinner, professional auctioneer Harry Santa-Olalla presented the evening’s auction and fund-a-need to benefit The Miriam’s colorectal cancer program. Featuring exciting travel excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences, spirited bidding surrounded each package. Among those to generate friendly competition from guests was a weeklong stay in a stunning Martha’s Vineyard home that sleeps 13, which sold for $12,000.

Throughout the night, guests enjoyed the unmistakable ambiance that helped to bring Grease to life. Souvenir photos were available alongside a vintage 1957 Chevrolet, the sounds of an a cappella group filled the air, and actors portraying Danny Zuko, Sandy Olsson, and Vince Fontaine added to the authenticity.

“It was an honor for Samara and me to chair this year’s gala and give back to a hospital that means so much to so many people, including us,” said Stuart Feldman.

Added Samara, “You may not expect to find world class healthcare on a tree-lined street on Providence’s East Side, but that is exactly what we have at The Miriam and as a community, we could not be more fortunate.”

At the conclusion of the evening program, guests took to the dance floor and enjoyed the sounds of Them Apples.

The Miriam Hospital extends its thanks and appreciation to Grease is the Word presenting sponsors Amica Mutual Insurance Co., Brown Physicians, Inc., and University Orthopedics; leadership donor Amica Companies Foundation; and platinum sponsor Amaral Revite General Contractors, and the many others whose generosity made the event possible.

The Miriam Gala Leadership

From left: Timothy J. Babineau, MD, president and CEO, Lifespan; Stuart and Samara Feldman, chairs of The Miriam Hospital’s gala and auction, Grease is the Word; Susan H. Kaplan, chair, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; and Arthur J. Sampson, president, The Miriam Hospital.

The Miriam Gala Patient Story

Michelle Moreau and Rimini Breakstone, MD at The Miriam’s 2019 gala and auction.

The Miriam Gala RIMI Sweaters

Guests from Rhode Island Medical Imaging show off their custom Letterman sweaters.

The Miriam Gala Tbirds

Grease is the Word would not be complete without the Pink Ladies and T-Birds.

Fun at the Miriam Gala

From left: Marianne Litwin, Rosemary Khosrovani, Alan Litwin, and Mehdi Khosrovani.

The Miriam Gala Actors and Guests

Joined by actors who helped to bring the event to life, Steve and Jennifer Larson (second and third from left) and Mark Lucchetti and Cara Conaty (center) enjoy Grease is the Word.

The Miriam Gala Chairs

Samara and Stuart Feldman, chairs of Grease is the Word, in the vintage 1957 Chevrolet that greeted guests upon their arrival to the event.

The Miriam Gala doo wop

Adding to the night’s authenticity were the sounds of the Rydell High Doo-Wop Singers.

The Miriam Gala car

Laura Butterfield, RN, OCN, director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute at The Miriam Hospital, and her husband Raymond Butterfield arrive at ‘Rydell High School’ for Grease is the Word.