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Local Sports Personalities Join enCourage Kids Serving Up Smiles Event (VIDEO)

Justin Hartley, NBC This Is Us, took over the web and hosted the enCourage Kids Serving Up Smiles event along with Ryan Field, ABC Sports Anchor.

Recently, Justin Hartley, NBC This Is Us, took over the web and hosted the enCourage Kids Serving Up Smiles event along with Ryan Field, ABC Sports Anchor, who emceed the event with Michele Hall Duncan live from Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse in NYC. Culinary Chair, Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner at TAO Group, Chef John Cleveland – Executive Chef & Owner Post & Beam LA, and Chef Jessica Scott – Corporate Pastry Chef 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, demoed their favorite dishes while guests had the opportunity to hop-in and out of the session rooms. Hartley was joined by musical guest Acute Inflections, Matias Letelier – Illusionist and Katrina “Kat Tat” Jackson – Commercial & Tattoo Artist. Duncan was surrounded by some former great football players such as NY Giants Super Bowl Champions Howard Cross and Luke Petitgout and former NY Jets star Tony Richardson, long-serving supporters of the organization. Guests enjoyed live music, seeing world-class chefs in the Kitchen, mixologists in the Bar, bidding on some great experiences and making memories in the photobooth. DJ Chef hosted the after party where attendees were dancing around their homes and singing along to some of the greatest hits.

“It was exciting to see how the event came together after months of preparation,” said Michele Hall Duncan. “I’m so grateful for the continued support of the sponsors, guests and athletes who continue to support us throughout the year. I look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission in making hospitals a better place to get better.”

The enCourage Kids honored Cory Elbaum (Angelo Gordon) and Rob Turner (Eastdil Secured, LLC) with the Jeffrey Gural Leadership Award. Dr. Kusum Viswanathan (Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center) received the Healthcare Leadership Award. Sponsors included Revel Spirits, GFP Real Estate, Signature Bank, Humana and Feil Family Foundation.

Serving Up Smiles as well as the mission of the organization has been supported by many in Hollywood such as Steve Schirripa, Susan Sarandon, Katie Holmes, Shannon Elizabeth, Suzzanne Douglas and Anne Hathaway as well as professional athletes such as John Starks, Erik Coleman, Charles OakleyTony RichardsonHoward CrossLuke Petitgout and Zab Juddah, to name a few.

About enCourage Kids Foundation

Since 1985, enCourage Kids Foundation has helped humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. Serving more than one million children annually, enCourage Kids is focused on making hospitals a better place to get better. Our programs offer relief from the constant burden of treatment, hospital stays, and doctor appointments, while also helping pediatric facilities to meet the unique needs of their patients. enCourage Kids Foundation envisions a world where every child–regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey—experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing.

About Michele Hall Duncan

Michele (President & CEO enCourage Kids Foundation) began her career at enCourage Kids as a volunteer and joined the program staff full-time in 1996. Having been hospitalized for a serious illness as a child, Michele felt a deep connection to the mission and quickly rose within the organization to oversee all programming. For more than two decades she has cultivated relationships with Child Life staff and all levels of hospital administration, as well as developed an integral understanding of trends in creative therapies and the ability to identify and meet the needs of our hospital partners. Combined, these attributes have helped Michele position enCourage Kids to be at the forefront of state-of-the-art programming in pediatric healthcare.

Michele is a Trustee of Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation; serves on the Advisory Board of one of the nation’s leading anti-bullying organizations, STOMP Out BullyingTM; and is a board member of the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she also serves on the Professional Advancement Committee. A native of Flint, Michigan, Michele is a proud graduate of Michigan State University with a B.A. in Advertising and has been an active associate member of the Essex Hudson Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. for 10 years. Michele has been featured in publications such as Authority, Medium, Thrive Global, Social Lifestyle, Industry Rules, Times Square Chronicles, Resident and networks such as CBS, NBC, FOX, FOX Good Day, ABC and Spectrum1, to name a few.


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