Mary Wilson and Kenneth Garbarino, M.D., will be honored with the "Spirit Award" at the 2016 Kaleida Ball, the health system's signature fundraising event.
One of Western New York's most prestigious black-tie events, the Kaleida Ball has raised funds to support stroke, cardiac care and geriatrics within the health system, as well as the emergency room expansions at Buffalo General and Millard Fillmore Suburban hospitals.
A highlight at the ball is honoring the Spirit Award recipients. The Spirit Award is given in appreciation for "significant and spirited support of Kaleida Health as it seeks to improve the health of the Western New York community."
Wilson and Garbarino have been driving forces behind Kaleida Health's care for the geriatric population.
When Mary and Ralph Wilson were approached by Kaleida Health in 2011, they reviewed options and felt strongly that they wanted to support the adult day centers as well as the Visiting Nurses Association, and they did so with a $1,000,000 grant over five years. This began a relationship with Kaleida Health that was continued in 2015 with a $4,200,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation's Transitional Legacy Grant Program to create an endowment that will continue this mission.
Today, the two adult day care centers in Amherst and North Tonawanda have been renamed, "Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Adult Day Services."
Mary Wilson has been an ardent advocate of the Buffalo community for the past 25 years. She and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation have been involved in various fundraising projects benefiting communities in Buffalo and Detroit. Hospice of Western New York, the Erie County SPCA, WNY Women's Foundation, Susan B. Anthony House, Food Bank of Western New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter and Kaleida Health Foundation are among the beneficiaries.
Garbarino has been associated with Kaleida Health and its hospitals for more than 20 years. He oversees the Geriatric Center of Western New York, located at Kaleida Health's DeGraff Memorial Hospital. His dedication to aging with dignity is evident in his everyday efforts to educate and guide his patients, their families and the community in which they live.
The center specializes in the care of patients over the age of 70, with an emphasis on those dealing with complex medical issues and/or memory loss. Garbarino leads a team whose goal is to maximize quality of life by providing the individualized attention patients deserve.
Seniors have unique needs that require special expertise. Whether patients are experiencing the natural changes of aging or medical problems that require more care, the center uses a multi-disciplinary approach to address all aspects of the aging process.
The Kaleida Ball is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Buffalo Convention Center. For tickets and more information, call 716-881-8260.