Keogh Health Connection’s 8th Annual First Friday Gala was held on Friday, November 2, 2012, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. Presenting Sponsor was Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona; Visionary Sponsor was SRP; Community Connector Sponsor was the Arizona Lottery, and 21 additional corporate and individual sponsors made the evening possible.

Kelly Dalton, Mayor Greg Stanton, and Karlene Keogh Parks enjoying the First Friday festivities

After a “Cocktails and Connecting” reception, Russell Smoldon, Government Relations Manager at Salt River Project, emceed the evening and introduced Karlene Keogh Parks, Keogh Co-Founder, who in turn introduced The Honorable Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix. Mayor Stanton shared stories of growing up in a household that lived the values of social justice and community service. His mother, who passed away earlier this year, was his inspiration for his own spirit of service. He joked how their methods were slightly different. “Son,” she once said, “I’ll do it my way and you do it yours.”

Sue Navran, Honorary Chair

The event’s Honorary Chair, Sue Navran of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, greeted the 220 guests in attendance and noted, “Keogh Health Connection has an impressive history of assisting individuals and families navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment. Most remarkable is Keogh’s ability to bring together partners from all types of industries to work together to assist Arizona’s families during times of personal crisis.”

After dinner, Russell Smolden led the entertaining live auction bidding and thanked attendees and sponsors that made the event a tremendous success. Significant funding was raised for Keogh to continue to provide access to healthcare and nutritional programs to uninsured and underinsured families in Maricopa County. For more information about Keogh Health Connections, call 602-266-0397.

225 attendees at the Arizona Biltmore enjoyed Mayor Stanton’s remarks

Emcee Russell Smolden