By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Executive Director of Roman Village Restaurant Group Patrick Rugiero returned as chairman for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Ball, raising $617,000 Dec. 3.
The Kidney Ball aims to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s various community programs and services helping over 900,000 people in the state.
Through the ball, which 740 supporters attended, the foundation was able to reach the $6 million mark in money raised over the 12 years.
“New sponsors and bringing in new influx of people who were introduced to the foundation helps every year,” Rugiero said. “Many supporters who become involved have friends, family or a personal connection to the cause.”
Rugiero said that while chairing the event for the second year in the row, he took lessons from the first year to learn from and do better.
“Bringing in new sponsors and dealing with all the moving parts are always hard work,” he said. “I was honored and privileged to be part of the ball again this year.”
During the Kidney Ball this year, Roman Village added an auction item which raised $9,000 toward the total with two bids at $4,500.
Rugiero’s mother, Rita Rugiero, offered to cook a gourmet dinner for eight people at the two highest bidders’ houses.
The 12th annual ball had over 250 silent and live auctions, cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Raymond Bertschy and the live band Fifty Amp Fuse.
“The Kidney Ball is our premiere fundraising event for movers and shakers to show their financial support for the important work of the Foundation and the community really stepped up for us this year,” National Kidney Foundation of Michigan President and CEO Dan Carney said. “The Foundation’s programs and services that help the one in nine in Michigan with chronic kidney disease would not be possible without the generous support of the community, our sponsors and the dedicated Kidney Ball Committee and volunteers.”
For the 2017 kidney ball, Patrick Rugiero sees a new chairman for the event which will bring a fresh look.
“Bringing in a fresh set of eyes next year at the chair position is always good,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed being a part of the foundation and team that helps makes the event possible every year.”
Patrick Rugiero will return for the Beaumont Health Foundation Red Tie Ball in May where he was named the chairman in 2015.
He helped raise over $650,000 for the Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families and Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
For more information on the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan go to nkfm.org, or for the Beaumont Health Foundation go to oakwood.org/foundation.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])