Alongside Mercedes-Benz’s generous support, the event was spearheaded by two Co-Chairs whose passion for the NICU helped drive the fundraising efforts. We sat down with them to understand more about why they wanted to be involved. Over $65,000 and counting was raised at the fashion show!
See a snapshot of the event here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cip2mTSpS2K/?igshid=NDRkN2NkYzU=
Donor Spotlight: Brianna Guenther & Brittney Spencer
1. Why did you decide to volunteer for the Newborns Need Campaign and help out with the organizing of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Show event?
Brianna: I wanted to volunteer for the Newborns Need Campaign because I understand how precious and precarious new life is. My husband and I lost three babies to miscarriages and while our babies didn’t have a chance to use the NICU we want to make sure that any baby that has a fighting chance has access to world class health care. Supporting the cause through the Mercedes-Benz Country Hills Fashion show was extra special as it allowed us to connect with an amazing team of people at Mercedes-Benz Country Hills (whose generosity knows no bounds) – and it allowed us to share a night of fashion and glamour with 650 Calgarians. What could be better!
Brittney: I decided to volunteer for the Newborns Need Campaign because, as a former nurse, I am passionate about bettering our ability to care for patients and their families. NICU admission is extremely high in our city, Calgary has a rate of premature birth that is higher than the national average and we do not currently have the capacity to care for our smallest and most fragile babies to the best of our ability. This event is going to help fund a space and the equipment needed to do that. Also, personally knowing families who have walked the NICU journey inspired me to get involved in this event.
2. How did you hear about the Calgary Health Foundation?
Brianna: I heard about the Calgary Health Foundation after it funded the renovation and relocation of the Early Pregnancy Loss Centre at the Foothills Hospital. After losing our first baby, I had advocated for there to be a dedicated space for parents grieving the loss of their baby and Calgary Health Foundation supported the initiative.
Brittney: When I worked at the Peter Lougheed Centre on a General Surgery unit, there was a group of nurses that would always buy the Home Lottery tickets that the Foundation does every year!
3. What about the Foundation resonated with you so much so that you wanted to devote time to volunteering?
Brianna: After the Calgary Health Foundation supported the renovation and relocation of the Early Pregnancy Loss Centre at the Foothills Hospital, I wanted to continue supporting the Calgary Health Foundation and the various causes and campaigns it was pursuing. Knowing firsthand how the Calgary Health Foundation was making a difference between excellent care and exceptional care made me want to continue volunteering.
Brittney: I love that the Foundation is dedicated to funding projects that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. They work collaboratively with donors, hospitals and health care providers to make the care received in Calgary superior.
4. What is the most rewarding thing about volunteering for you?
Brianna: I love Calgary through and through and I want to ensure that I give my time and energy to a community that I’m proud of, and a community that has always so deeply enriched my life in return.
Brittney: How do I narrow it down!? One of the most rewarding things is knowing that this event and the money raised is going to change lives. That our littlest Calgarians will have the BEST care in world-class facilities, from a neonatal team that is already second -to- none.
Another extremely rewarding thing is meeting the families and learning about their unique stories. Hearing about the grief and desperation that they have journeyed through but also the deep, deep gratitude for the care they received in the NICU is so inspiring. I feel so honoured to share in their excitement that there are initiatives like the Newborns Need to make the journey of future NICU families even more positive than their own.
5. How long have you been involved with the CHF and in any other capacities?
Brianna: I have been involved with CHF since 2017 and currently service as Vice-Chair of the Foothills Development Council.
Brittney: I have only been involved with the CHF in the two MBCHx NICU Fashion Shows although I am hoping to jump on board with volunteering for events in the near future!