Former Westchester Congressman Honored At Gift Of Life Gala

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Gift of Life Chair of the Board Georgene Mongarella presents an award to Former Congressman Joseph Dioguardi.
Gift of Life Chair of the Board Georgene Mongarella presents an award to Former Congressman Joseph Dioguardi. Photo Credit: Contributed
Gift of Life Executive Board, from left, Rob Raylman, Kevin Morgan, Harriet Lerner and Bill Fishman.
Gift of Life Executive Board, from left, Rob Raylman, Kevin Morgan, Harriet Lerner and Bill Fishman. Photo Credit: Contributed
Children given the gift of life.
Children given the gift of life. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Gift of Life, Inc. celebrated its 20th year with a gala at Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle.

The Rotarian-sponsored charity doubled its previous fundraising totals and honored outstanding individuals for their contribution to saving lives of children with heart problems.

Gift of Life Chair of the Board Georgene Mongarella hosted the event and Executive Director Rob Raylman served as Master of Ceremonies before being named a humanitarian award winner at the gala.

The Gift of Life helps Albanian children with severely damaged hearts who are not expected to survive, and brings them to this country with their mothers. They are hosted by Rotary clubs until they are ready for the life-saving cardiac procedure that Gift of Life has established with surgeons at Montefiore and Westchester Medical Center.

Among the honorees were:

• Former Congressman Joseph Dioguardi of Ossining, who was honored for his service to the Albanian community. Many children who receive help from Gift of Life come from the Albanian community,

• Albana Krasniqi, humanitarian award winner, who identified children in need of cardiac help in Kosovo.

• Mazllum Belegu, MD, PhD., who helps children with successful treatment before and after the cardiac surgery.

“The evening was joyous and profitable for this singular charity,” Mongarella said.  “It earned significantly more than the prior year and the attendance increased.”

Gift of Life, Inc. continues to help cardiac-damaged children from many countries around the world. Learn more about Gift of Life on its website.

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