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If a picture tells a thousand stories, think of all the tales associated with the world map posted on the 11th floor of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

A pushpin represents a patient from around the globe who has traveled to the children’s hospital within Michigan Medicine for a life-saving and life-changing procedure.

“We have had cases from all over, including Asia, Europe, Mexico, South America and Africa,” said Gene Skidmore, Mott’s assistant director of corporate foundation relations. “That’s in addition to nearly every state plus every single county in Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula. We are not just a backyard hospital.”

Indeed. Since 1903, the University of Michigan has led the way in providing comprehensive, specialized health care for children. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, opened in 1969, is consistently ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals in all 10 pediatric specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Mott outranks every other hospital in Michigan.

Donations are the hospital’s lifeblood, from the $6.5 million gifted to the University of Michigan in 1965 by industrialist Charles Stewart Mott to the unique events held annually to continue Mott’s mission of cutting-edge research. Two of the biggest fundraisers are coming up this month.

All ‘Fore’ a Good Cause

CHAMPS for Mott, co-sponsored by Delta Air Lines and Lexus of Ann Arbor, includes a gala party on May 20 and an exclusive golf outing on May 22.

“These events help us tell the stories that are happening behind the doors of Mott each and every day, and also allow us to share with our supporters how the funds they so generously donate directly impact innovate, transformative patient care and research at our facility,” said Skidmore, whose own three daughters were born at Mott.

At the May 20 party, some 500 guests will take a gourmet journey inside a Delta Air Lines hangar at Detroit Metro Airport.

“We are the only event that has ever taken place inside a working hangar at DTW,” said Skidmore. “It’s a monstrous facility. We take it over Thursday afternoon, turn it into an elegant, clean and wonderful event space, and transform it back into a working hangar by noon on Sunday. I have the pictures to prove it.”

The Culinary Gala features 20 Michigan chefs crafting signature dishes for a strolling dinner. The host is celebrity chef and actor David Burtka, a U-M alumnus and the husband of actor Neil Patrick Harris. Participating chefs include Nick Rogers of The Root, Brian Perrone of Slows Bar BQ, Dominic Vicari and Jim Oppat of Andiamo and Alex Young of Zingerman’s Roadhouse.

“Guests will have their best meal of the year, and if they leave hungry it’s their own fault,” said Skidmore with a laugh.

Great food is just part of the evening’s festivities. The Dan Rafferty Band will provide live music and a silent auction lets people score concert tickets and signed sports memorabilia. The live auction promises robust bidding for big-ticket items like Super Bowl tickets, a spot in the Lexus Champions for Charity golf tournament at Pebble Beach, and, new this year, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at Tiffany & Co., the famed New York jeweler.

“These are rare and unique opportunities,” said Skidmore. “It’s a wonderful night for Mott and our supporters, who come for a great evening of fun, food and philanthropy.”

The fun continues May 22 at the esteemed Oakland Hills Country Club. “It’s the most famed course in the state of Michigan,” said Skidmore. “We’ll have a tremendous breakfast, hearty lunch, fabulous dinner and all sorts of contests at the holes” including car giveaways by Lexus of Ann Arbor. Plan on attending? Don’t putter around – tickets are going fast.

Seeding the Future

CHAMPS for Mott makes it possible to fund cutting-edge research that “moves the needle on pediatric medicine,” Skidmore said, by turning that seed money into significant grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to groundbreaking research, Mott is known for finding innovative ways to support patients and their families.

“We all understand that the hospital is not an easy place to be but that does not mean we can’t have good experiences here – and that is our goal,” said Joel Maier, a Mott child life specialist and one of the leaders in the new Paws4Patients program that brings comfort in the form of lovable service dogs.

That’s just one of the many ways Mott brings not only top-notch health care, but friendship and normalcy to a child’s life. Medbuddies pairs a volunteer medical or nursing student with an inpatient to play board games or just talk, while U-M athletes spend time each Thursday visiting awestruck Young Victors.

Mott’s new hospital, opened in December 2011, encompasses a 12-story inpatient wing and a nine-story outpatient wing. The facility’s 348 beds include 50 private maternity rooms and 46 private NICU rooms. A breathtaking two-story lobby provides entertainment and other activities, and an on-site Ronald McDonald House offers 12 rooms for families needing short-term lodging. Each floor has a family center, play area and lovely artwork from a 260-piece collection.

“We welcome over 20,000 Little Victors a year to our hospital and welcome into this world 4,500 to 4,800 newborns every year,” says Skidmore.  “At the end of the day these fundraisers are all for our Little Victors and their families. Our guests feel good knowing they are really helping to transform medicine on a global scale, right in their own backyard, and our doctors and researchers are all hoping one day to be out of a job because there will be no more illness, no more pain.”

Tickets and more details about CHAMPS for Mott can be found at champsformott.org. Visit mottchildren.org to learn more about the award-winning hospital.

This story is provided and presented by our sponsor U of M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

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