Thomas Edison State University Foundation will be hosting its 29th Annual Grande Ball by Honoring Healthcare Heroes and Celebrating 2020: The Year of The Nurse on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. However, this year, as current health concerns continue due to the spread of COVID-19, the Foundation has decided to make its yearly event virtual.
“We knew as we were planning the gala that we had to consider the possibility that we weren’t going to be able to gather in person due to health and safety concerns,” said Jaclyn Joworisak, Donor Relations and Advancement associate in the Office of Development at Thomas Edison State University.
The Grande Ball, which was originally set to take place in early October, was pushed back as a result of the current pandemic. Joworisak added, "After exploring various options, we ultimately decided that we needed to adapt and change what we had done in the past to go virtual, like many events in 2020."
Despite the challenges the Foundation faces in virtualizing this annual event, plans are in place to provide an entertaining, informative and enjoyable evening for the university’s students, alumni, sponsors and members of the community.
In previous years, those attending the Grande Ball enjoyed a networking cocktail hour. In that spirit of celebration, for this year’s virtual event, the TESU Foundation will share cocktail recipes to registered attendees prior to the event, creating a sense of community for participants who want to replicate the recipe at home.
In addition to the cocktails, the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing simulation lab will play an important role in the evening as we film live from the lab. In order to bring an added element of enjoyment to this year’s event, TESU is asking registered participants to submit a name for the “newly born” infant simulator. The chosen name will be announced on the night of the event.
In light of the virtual event, TESU is rethinking how best to recognize sponsors in a meaningful way – instead of recognition at an in-person event, the Foundation will promote sponsors by acknowledging them throughout the virtual celebration. In addition, because guests aren’t limited by geography, sponsors will gain exposure to the broader TESU student and alumni population as they will be able to attend this year.
In particular, TESU is especially grateful to Capital Health for sponsoring and partnering with the University and its healthcare students. In a year that has seen members of the healthcare community step up – often at great personal risk – to provide compassionate care to patients, the TESU Foundation has selected Dr. Deborah Mican, vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at Capital Health, as its honoree. TESU and Capital Health have a shared commitment to improving the communities they serve through quality healthcare and lifelong education.
Misty Isak, associate vice president of Development at TESU, said, “Capital Health has a number of its nurse professionals serve as nurse educators and online course mentors in TESU’s nursing programs. In turn Capital Health has hired a number of students who have come through the school’s pre-licensure, bachelor’s and graduate-level nursing programs.”
Attendance is free, but registration is required. Since this year’s event will be virtual and without charge, the Foundation is asking participants to consider making a donation in lieu of the cost of a ticket to attend the event. All registrants will receive a TESU mask, to be mailed post-event, and the gala will also feature door prizes and an online auction. To participate in this year’s 29th Annual Grande Ball, please visit CharityAuction.Bid/TESU.