Runway Show Raises Funds for Neonatal Critical Care

Models walked the runway while wearing designs by Elie Tahari and Lourdes Chavez Couture at the Annual Design Fashion Show and Silent Auction hosted by the Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach Auxiliary.

Hundreds of women flowed into the Hyatt Regency Long Beach Ballroom on Saturday, Feb. 18, dressed in their Sunday best and excited to be in the company of fellow Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach Auxiliary members and friends. 

For decades, the dedicated group of women who make up the Miller Children’s Auxiliary have come together to host a designer fashion show with one goal in mind – live out their mission to “Have a Heart and Help a Child.”

Following a silent auction, the women enjoyed a runway show featuring designs by Elie Tahari, a top international fashion designer, and Lourdes Chavez Couture, a high-end fashion company based in Los Angeles.

This spirited tradition, in its 61st year, raised approximately $80,000 to benefit the Small Baby Program in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. The program is the largest of its kind in Los Angeles and Orange County and is designed to care for the tiniest premature infants, often weighing less than 2 lbs., in a serene environment that mimics their mother’s womb.

Nearly half the patients admitted to the NICU at Miller Children’s are transported from surrounding hospitals – making the program critical to the region. For families, this difficult time demands expert critical care with a compassionate touch.

“Premature infants, especially those born at less than 28 weeks, can experience developmental delays because their bodies are not fully developed,” says James Fritzell, Jr., M.D., clinical director, Small Baby Program, NICU, Miller Children’s. “We are grateful for the support of the Miller Children’s Auxiliary for helping us continue to provide an environment that is both medically and developmentally appropriate to the needs of premature infants.”

The Miller Children’s Auxiliary volunteers and organizes activities and events to support      Miller Children’s. Additionally, its members volunteer thousands of hours each year for the benefit of Miller Children’s patients, including activities like running the gift shop and hosting monthly celebrations for children hospitalized around their birthday.

“Our organization was founded in 1946,” says Glenda Wycoff, president, Miller Children’s Auxiliary. “This is our 71st year and our 61st fashion show. Over the years, we have donated more than $15 million to Miller Children’s. We devote approximately $200,000 - $250,000 each year to a specific department at Miller Children’s. All of this year’s proceeds from the gift shop, fashion show and our Spring and Fall Faires will go toward improving and enhancing the compassionate care patients and families receive through the new Small Baby Program.”

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