The evening of Nov. 20 marked a special occasion for some of Children’s National’s most generous philanthropists, who were inducted as inaugural members of The Trust, a recognition society for donors who have given at least $1 million cumulatively. More than 142 guests turned out for the launch event in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.
“Trust is at the heart of everything we do,” said Dr. Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National, as he reflected upon the brave children and families who entrust the Children’s National staff with their lives each day. “Trust inspires confidence in the face of uncertainty and enables real progress to be made. Children and their families come to us when they’re most vulnerable—when they need to trust us the most. Your philanthropy -- and the standard of excellence it supports -- instills confidence that they will receive the best possible care.”
Members of The Trust enjoyed an inspiring talk given by cancer survivor Josh Sundquist, a motivational speaker, author, and Paralympic ski racer who discussed how philanthropy contributed to saving his own life when he was a young boy. Following dinner, Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, gave the keynote address, illuminating how art, science, and exploration are closely interconnected. Ms. Sajet also spoke about her personal relationship to Children’s National, where her son, Josh, continues to receive care for a brain tumor.
Guests then watched a brief film documenting a photojournalism project by world-renowned portrait artist Chan Chao. Over the past year, Chao has captured the spirit of young patients, families, and staff at Children’s National through portraiture. Each new member of The Trust received a portfolio that included 22 select images from this commemorative project. “It takes a family, a village, and a community to make Children’s National work,” reflected Chao. “It’s an environment where children get the best.”