New York City

EKF Social Lifestyle SUS Interview

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On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, the enCourage Kids Foundation will host their annual Serving Up Smiles fundraising event at CURRENT in Chelsea Piers – Pier 59 in New York City. Some of the top restaurants and celebrity chefs will be there serving their favorite signature dishes paired with some great wines and cocktails. I personally can’t wait!

As we know, there are many events in New York City all of which are fun and meaningful. But this event, hits home for so many families that are challenged with healthcare. What Michele Hall Duncan, President & CEO of enCourage Kids Foundation does every day, is truly incredible as the mission of the organization is to humanize healthcare through some of their stellar programs such as technology, creative arts and tablet programs. Michele has also launched an incredible Teddy Bear program in which every child receives a teddy as a hospital is scary and intimidating place for children. The enCourage Kids Foundation helps a sick child who has endured countless tests feel hopeful and better cope with treatments with a Child Life supporter. They provide comfort to the child watching a sibling go through numerous rounds of chemotherapy and provide joy for parents after seeing their child smile for the first time in their two-week hospital visit. Just great work!

I had the opportunity to interview Michele and gain some incredible insight on the organization. I had a Q & A with her on the foundation and as well as the upcoming Serving Up Smiles Event.

OR: What is your greatest achievement at the enCourage Kids Foundation? 

MHD: Leading this organization into a national footprint is my crowning achievement. We are intent on being present for as many sick kids as possible.

OR: Will you be adding any additional programs? 

MHD: Yes! Through our continued collaborative relationship with the Child Life community, we will continue to build programs that truly impact and benefit the lives of children and families. This work is ongoing.

OR: Will you be seeking additional partnerships? 

MHD: Yes! We are always looking into partnering with corporate and foundational partners as well as in-kind partners for toy donations. 

OR: Serving Up Smiles is coming up on Tuesday, October 22, at CURRENT in Chelsea Piers. Why is this one of your favorite events? 

MHD: Actually, all our events are my favorite but this one brings out the top restaurants and some of the best chefs in the business. You can expect delicious plates from Bagatelle (Guillaume Ginther, Executive Chef), Beauty & Essex (Sarah Nelson, Executive Chef) Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse (Admir Alibasic, Executive Chef) Bryant Park Grill (AnneMarie Noonan, Pastry Chef), Butter (Michael Jenkins, Chef de Cuisine), Danny Macaroons (Dan Cohen, Baker), Hotel Chocolat, Lamia’s Fish Market (Lamia Funti, Executive Chef & Owner), Legasea (Jason Hall, Executive Chef), Ocean Prime (Eugenio Reyes, Executive Chef), Osteria Morini (Andrew Minitelli, Chef de Cuisine), Robert (Gonzalo Colin, Executive Chef), Serendipity 3, Sfoglia (Melisa Panchano, Executive Chef) and TAO Group (Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner). Who doesn’t love an event that brings together amazing people, delicious food and wine, specialty cocktails and music for a great cause! We are so grateful for all of their continued support!

OR: Well great food and wine brings out special guests. Who can we expect to be attending?

MHD: Of course all of our guests, sponsors and donors are very special guests. This year, our event will be hosted by Scott Stanford – Sports Anchor/TV Host and we have confirmations from several athletes such as John Starks, Brent QVale, Howard Cross, Tony Richardson, Luke Petitgout as well as a few actors such as Frankie Smith (Roots) and DeeMo (Black & Blue).  The list keeps growing daily so you never know who else will be joining us.

OR: Do you have a wish list for Ambassadors of influencers to join you on your mission? 

MHD: We’re always looking for leading influencers who have a passion for humanizing healthcare for pediatric patients. 

OR: If you had one wish for the organization, what would it be? 

MHD: To impact the lives of all three million children that are hospitalized each year through advocacy and pediatric program enhancement.

OR: Thank you Michele for your time today and we look forward to continuing to cover your work and events.

MHD: Thank you so much for your support and spreading the awareness of the enCourage Kids Foundation. 

If you would like to join us for the Serving Up Smiles event and make a difference in a child’s life, you can purchase tickets by visiting:  Feel free to be social and follow the enCourage Kids Foundation:

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