Winter Ball participants support O’Brien Endowed Scholarship

By Bryan Goodchild

UMass Medical School Communications

December 12, 2012

More than 350 people gathered at Mechanics Hall to celebrate and support the shared mission of UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center at the fourth annual Winter Ball on Friday, Dec. 7. As in years past, attendees participated in both live and silent auctions to raise funds for the academic health sciences center.

“Having the enthusiastic support of so many leaders in our community is extraordinary and demonstrates clearly the value placed on these two dynamic organizations and the impact they have on our communities,” said R. Norman Peters, chair of the Winter Ball 2012 Steering Committee, who is also a member of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees and a member of the UMass Medicine Development Council.

Attendees also supported this year’s Fund-a-Need project: establishing an endowed scholarship at UMMS named for John O’Brien, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, who will retire in early 2013.

“John O’Brien is a truly remarkable individual, someone who has long been an advocate for our community professionally, by providing quality health care for the people of our state, and personally, by supporting the academic goals of our young people,” said Mary DeFeudis, chair of the UMass Medicine Development Council, during the speaking program that evening. “His college education was made possible by the generosity of others. Therefore, he understands—all too well—the impact financial aid can have on students, enabling them to keep their focus where it should be: on learning.”

In this video shown at the event, “Investing in the Next Generation of Care Givers,” see how scholarship money can make a difference in the lives of even the smallest patients.