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Lauren Jones, Media Relations
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

From the NICU to the Runway
Start Date
St. Joe physicians, staff shed scrubs; NICU graduates model fall fashions to celebrate and fundraise for the St. Joseph Mercy NICU

St. Joe’s NICU “graduates” will show off their vivacity as they strut, or stroll, down the runway with their parents and siblings and St. Joe’s physicians and staff at the 2011 Fashionable Growth, fashion show and silent auction. The event will benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. Fashionable Growth, now in its seventh year, will take place on Friday, Nov. 4 at an all-new venue – the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. Lila Lazarus, local TV personality, will serve as the guest emcee.

“St. Joe’s provides advanced medical care to approximately 1,000 critically ill and premature babies each year,” said Judith Ivacko, MD, SJMH neonatologist. “And, I cannot tell you how inspiring it is to see them – many who weighed little over a pound at birth and fought for months to survive – living it up on the runway.”

The fashion show is presented by the St. Joe’s NICU Family Advisory Board, made up of parents whose babies have received care in the NICU and who volunteer their time to help staff develop and offer education and support programs.

“Gifts for the event will make a big difference,” said Camilla McKinnon, RN, SJMH NICU nurse, Family Advisory Board Coordinator and Fashion Show Director. “The fashion show supports programs that give our parents the comfort and strength that they need while they are here and that boost their confidence and ability to care for a preemie when it’s time to take their baby home.”

The event will include a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, followed by an elegant dinner, awards ceremony and car raffle and, the pièce de résistance, the fashion show, featuring St. Joe’s NICU stars and the latest styles in clothing and accessories.

“The Family Advisory Board is grateful to everyone who has supported the fashion show over the past six years and to those who have made an early commitment to this year’s event,” said Christine Gardner, St. Joe’s NICU Family Advisory Board President. “This year we are excited to have the opportunity to grow the event and offer table sponsorship packages in addition to individual tickets. And, we are delighted to invite the community to another elegant and family-friendly event to benefit the NICU.”

To purchase a table sponsorship package or tickets to the event or to make a gift to St. Joe’s NICU, please call Matt Holland, SJMH Manager of Annual Giving and Special Events at 734-712-3658 or visit the