Giving Back

Maplewood Rotary Club Donates $10,000 to Saint Barnabas Foundation

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Maplewood Rotary Club has made a $10,000.00 donation to the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation in support of the life-saving work being done by the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The decision to honor the NICU came following the birth of “miracle baby” Aria Grace Calvosa, daughter of Rotary Club member Angel Calvosa and her husband Greg.

Baby Aria’s chances for survival were estimated to be less than 5% due to the many physical challenges she encountered during gestation.  On September 12, 2013, she was born prematurely, weighing only one pound and twelve ounces.  She refused intubation and a ventilator, but fought to survive, residing in the Saint Barnabas NICU for nearly three months, overcoming every challenge. She is now a beautiful, happy, and healthy six-month old.

“We are so thrilled with Saint Barnabas and the care that we received,” said Angel Calvosa. “We’re so thankful for our miracle baby.”

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Rotary president Ed Boffa said that the organization looks for worthy recipients to give to via its “Gift of Life” fund, which is set aside to help save babies’ lives.  The donation to Saint Barnabas is earmarked to purchase glider chairs for parents staying with their babies in the NICU, as well as iPads that will be used for parent education at the hospital.

On hand to accept the donation we Dr. Shyan Sun from the Neonatology Department and Jennifer Spiegel, Nurse Manager of the NICU.

“We have 56 beds in the NICU, and we take care of about 5,660 babies every year, most of them are high-risk babies,” Dr. Sun said.  “Saint Barnabas has one of the best survival rates in the country.  We share data with 950 other hospitals, and for the past twenty years we have been in the top ten every year.  We have such high performance because we focus our care on the first moments of human life, which are the most critical.  We have specialists on duty 24 hours a day, which many other hospitals do not, and this allows us to provide the best newborn care.”

The club funds its pledges to programs such as this from the proceeds of its annual Affair of the Heart dinner/dance held each spring. This event supports the club’s giving to projects worldwide that help save children’s lives.

This year’s Affair of the Heart dinner will be held on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at the Maplewood Country Club. Reservations are required and tickets are limited. The cost to attend is $100 per person. To make a reservation or to obtain more information, contact event Co-Chairpersons, Rick Porter at rickporter10@gmail.com or Steve Gussen at sjgussen@gmail.com

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