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Black Tie International:
32nd Annual enCourage Kids Foundation Gala
 “enCourage Kids Foundation’s Visibility Kids with honorees Peter Sotoloff and George Klett, Foundation board member Alan Roth and his wife, Executive Director Michele Hall-Duncan, and Looney Louie the clown.Photo  by: Dennis Cahlo ( 
enCourage Kids Foundation’s Visibility Kids with honorees Peter Sotoloff and George Klett, Foundation board member Alan Roth and his wife, Executive Director
Michele Hall-Duncan, and Looney Louie the clown
Photo  by: Dennis Cahlo ( 
32nd Annual enCourage Kids Foundation Gala Highlighted “Superhero” Kids and Their Tales of Courage

enCourage Kids Foundation (, an organization that provides environments and experiences that help children through each step of their medical journey, held their 32nd Annual Gala on March 16th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel hosted by PIX11 Sports Anchor, Andy Adler. This year’s gala shared the organization’s “Superhero Kids” Tales of Courage and highlighted the organization’s Escapes program as this year’s “mission moment.”

The “Superhero” campaign features the tales of four extraordinary kids, whose everyday lives include heroic acts of bravery, strength and spirit. They are each creating their own legends by experiencing adventures, making discoveries, and overcoming difficulties along the way.

In addition to sharing the “Superhero” kids’ stories and Escapes program, enCourage Kids Foundation celebrated two honored guests whose proven spirit of philanthropy improves the lives of children and their families. Representing the finance and real estate industries respectively, George M. Klett, Executive Vice President of Signature Bank and Peter J. Sotoloff, Managing Partner & CIO of Mack Real Estate Group.

With a growing network of over 100 hospital partners, the enCourage Kids Foundation programs provide kids facing a variety of health issues – from receiving chemo treatments in a clinic to those living with a chronic illness that may not be visible – the opportunity to laugh, play and have fun. In particular, the Escapes program provides carefree, fun, positive memories for children, parents and siblings through organized outings.

“Our mission is incredibly important because most of the programs we fund are not typically covered by a hospital budget,” said Michele Hall-Duncan, Executive Director of the enCourage Kids Foundation. “For kids with health issues, care doesn’t end in the hospital, so we also create and fully fund experiences for the whole family to enjoy together, which allows for them to bond with other families in similar circumstances. We wouldn’t be able to help these children and their families without the thoughtful generosity of our donors.”

They also presented American Airlines with the Community Partner Award for their generous contributions and 25 years of support for the enCourage Kids Foundation.

Over 850 guests and dedicated donors filled the Broadway Ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis with compassion and generosity. The evening raised over 1.8 million dollars to bolster the organization’s steadfast mission of providing funding to hospitals and their most critical pediatric programs; a truly remarkable and record breaking number.

Sticking with the theme of record breaking, Executive Director Michele Hall-Duncan and martial arts master Leif Becker announced the launch of Breaking Barriers, a world record setting event for enCourage Kids Foundation. Learn more at

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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