Dr. Natalie Weger and Karlene Keogh Parks

Keogh Health Connection’s 7th Annual First Friday Gala was held on Friday, November 4, 2011, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and supported by 22 additional corporate and individual sponsors.

After a “Cocktails and Connecting” reception, Russell Smoldon, Government Relations Manager at Salt River Project, emceed the evening and introduced Marisue Garganta, Keogh Board of Directors Chair, and Allen Gjersvig, Keogh Executive Director, who kicked off the night.

Maryglenn and Rich Boals

The event’s Honorary Chair, Richard L. Boals, President & CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, greeted the 225 guests and introduced Karlene Keogh Parks, the Co-Founder of Keogh Health Connection. Karlene shared her story as a struggling single mom and then emotionally introduced her daughter, cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Natalie Weger. Dr. Weger gave her entertaining and heart-felt recollection of growing up during their financial struggles and the strength and appreciation for her mother’s tenacity and how that had a positive, long-term impact on her future. All of the speakers encompassed the event’s theme, “One Moment in Time,” emphasizing that a crisis today does not have to define a person’s tomorrow.

Keogh thanks the attendees and sponsors that made the event a tremendous success and raised significant funding to make it possible for Keogh to provide access to healthcare and nutritional programs to the uninsured and underinsured families in Maricopa County. For more information or to get involved, please call 602-266-0397.

Craig & Eva Livesay

Allen Gjersvig, Michelle January, and Russell Smoldon

Dale and Kimberly Hopely

Donna Esposito, Barby Barone, Sue York, and Carol Zbacnik

Kristin Struble Chakmakian, Dr. Stephen Chakmakian, Dr. Charlton Wilson, and Kathleen Wilson