Sunday, August 29, 2010

March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Gala

{Jill was nominated for this year's Nurse of the Year for the state of Arizona, in the category of "patient care". Anyone can nominate a nurse, and a clinical nurse specialist/educator nominated Jill in June. The awards Gala event was this Saturday, August 28th 2010, held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix}

Between feedings and naps when Lena was only a month old, I had to squeeze in completing an official nomination packet to be an "official" nominee. I didn't even have a resume, and had to create one and also write two essays. The March of Dimes had 350 nominees this year, and 250 returned the nomination packets. There were 14 different categories, including: Community Service, Military Nursing, Research, Pediatric Nursing, Leadership, Advocacy for Patients, and Patient Care.

In my category alone, there were 60 nominees. 3 were chosen as finalists, and besides me there was: Stacey Barnett and Eric Humphrey. They announced the winner of each category at the Gala event. Eric Humphrey was the winner of my category. But I was just glad to go to the event and have fun! And to eat the $150 food (Todd and mine were complimentary, and all proceeds went to nursing scholarships).

They ended up having an extra ticket for the event. Our nursing director, Ursula Gonzalez, couldn't make it, so I asked my friend Haylie to come, instead. Haylie has been watching Lena for the past two weeks until Lena's official babysitters can start. Haylie is below in the red dress. She had a lot of fun with Todd and me. I got my hair done earlier in the day, and a friend came and watched Lena at our house for the evening. My dress was a miracle to find; I had looked at Arizona bridal warehouse (note the name warehouse; you would think they would have a HUGE selection of dresses in a warehouse), but they only had one dress and it didn't look very good on me. I was stressing about finding something to wear, and called a bridal shop which said they had one blue dress and that was it. Todd and I went to try it on, and it was great! And the lady gave me 15% off when she heard what it was for.
Todd never went to prom! I had forgotten that fact, so it was fun for him to get dressed in a tux and have his own kind of pseudo- "prom" :)

This was the big screen at the front of the ballroom. They put each finalists picture up while they read a little about the person. CBS 5 news had their two news anchors host the event: Sean
McLaughlin and Catherine Anaya.

My dear friend Haylie with me

I feel honored just to be nominated, and furthermore to be a finalist! There are so many wonderful nurses out there who deserve to be recognized. At the event, they said that the Arizona chapter of March of Dimes has been #1 in the nation for their nurse of the year annual event for the past few years. They gave us wrist corsages, and then our CNO (chief nursing officer) of Banner Good Samaritan gave the finalists another corsage. I put it on my dress, but ended up sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose all evening. I guess the green in the corsage was eucaliptus, which was causing all my allergies, but I didn't want her to feel bad so I wore it the whole evening. I was glad to take it off and stop sneezing when I got in the car! Lena did very good with the babysitter. She is such a good baby, and hardly ever fusses. They had a silent auction at the beginning to raise money, and mingling and drinks. Haylie bought me and Todd some non-alcoholic drinks (OJ and grapefruit), and they had the live band playing music. Now that I'm married, events where you get all dressed up never happen. So we really enjoyed ourselves. The event was also to commemorate Florence Nightingale, who died 100 years ago this month.