The Children’s Inn at NIH Cancels Gala Due to Coronavirus



BETHESDA, Md. — March 19, 2020 — The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has cancelled its Annual “An Evening for Hope” gala due to the unpredictability of the widening COVID-19 public health emergency. The Gala was originally set for Saturday, April 25, 2020, at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.

“Based on the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 outbreak locally, there is no question that this epidemic threatens the health and safety of the seriously ill children and families we serve as well as the general public,” said Jennie Lucca, CEO, The Children’s Inn at NIH. “Therefore, we believe that cancelling the Evening for Hope gala is the most responsible call.”

An important NIH partner in medical discovery, The Children’s Inn is a private nonprofit located on the NIH campus that provides free lodging, meals and recreational and therapeutic support to seriously ill children, their families and young adults participating in clinical research studies at the NIH. Since the gala’s inception in 2013, the funds raised at the “An Evening for Hope” gala have been the single largest source of income to support The Inn’s ongoing operations.

“While we are not planning to reschedule this year’s gala, we do anticipate providing sponsors and supporters with special opportunities to connect with The Inn in the coming months,” said Todd Pantezzi, An Evening for Hope gala chair, Children’s Inn trustee and a vice president at Perspecta. “We would like to thank everyone for their dedicated support for our gala over the years and encourage people to look into other ways to support The Inn during this difficult time.”

In the meantime, The Children’s Inn remains diligently focused on keeping children and their families safe, limiting opportunities for exposure while continuing to provide programming and meal resources, given the access to the building is so limited. While volunteer groups are temporarily suspended from providing meals for safety reasons, the community can show their support by contributing to The Inn’s Feeding Families Program. For more information on The Inn’s new measures to protect families during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit: http://childrensinn.org/covid/.

About The Children’s Inn at NIH

The Children’s Inn at NIH is a private nonprofit whose mission is to provide “a place like home” free of charge to families of children and young adults participating in clinical research studies at the world-renowned National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Since opening in 1990, more than 14,300 families from all 50 states and 94 countries have found a home at The Inn, helping to advance medical discoveries and improve the health of people all over the world. For more information about The Children’s Inn at NIH, please visit childrensinn.org or call 301-496-5672.

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