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Samaritan gala raises record amount

Event helps fund services to the seriously ill and their families

Special to The Sun
Samaritan’s all-volunteer gala committee organized and produced the nonprofit’s annual Celebration of Life Gala on Feb. 10.

Samaritan’s 2024 Celebration of Life Gala in Cherry Hill raised $275,000 last month to support the nonprofit’s life-enhancing services.

“We are really pleased to honor, recognize and celebrate folks and organizations in the community that are actively engaged and giving back,” said Chris Rollins, chief development officer of Samaritan.

The record funds raised will support the nonprofit’s life-enhancing services for seriously ill patients and their families – as well as those grieving a loss – in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties.

Jack and Barbara Tarditi of Haddonfield, Kyle Ruffin of Hainesport and Marcum LLP of Marlton were recognized as the organization’s Celebration of Life honorees.

Jack Tarditi’s roles include service on the Cooper Foundation Board, board chair of Symphony in C and founding member and chair of the Camden Schools Foundation. He also serves on the Haddonfield Educational Trust and as a founding trustee of the Community Foundation of South Jersey, he is now an emeritus trustee.

Ruffin is a former trustee of the Community Foundation of South Jersey, the author of “In Stroke’s Shadow: My Caregiver Story,” and president and founding member of Impact100 South Jersey. Ruffin’s community service has included support for the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey and the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey. She is currently a member of Samaritan’s board inclusion and diversity committee.

Marcum LLP of Marlton’s commitment to South Jersey also includes support of the Community Foundation, along with the Virtua Health Foundation, the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation and the Jewish Community Center.

Special to The Sun
President and CEO Phillip W. Heath welcomes guests at the gala.

“This year’s gala in particular, all of our honorees really did help us take it to another level,” Rollins said.

This year’s gala dinner included an online auction with more than 130 items that itself raised more than $19,000, and the drawing of two winning tickets for Samaritan’s annual Delightful Dining raffle.

“We hope that all attendees would leave with a greater understanding of what we do at Samaritan,” Rollins noted of the event. “While hospice is not the only service we provide, it is certainly core to our mission. It is not something folks necessarily think about or take the effort to learn more about until it confronts them directly.

“It’s a great celebration,” he added. “It’s a chance for the community to come together in support of a service that can benefit us all.”

Founded in Moorestown in 1980 as one of the first hospices in the country, Samaritan is now among New Jersey’s leading providers of hospice care, palliative (comfort) medicine, at-home primary care, grief support and other services.

“Our annual Celebration of Life Gala allows us to continue providing comprehensive care for the people of South Jersey,” explained Phillip W. Heath, Samaritan’s president and CEO. “The kindness and generosity of our sponsors – including presenting sponsor Holman Enterprises – as well as members of our dedicated board of trustees, gala committee and chairs Mindy Holman, Frank Beideman and Theresa Savage, staff and volunteers have made a profound impact on our greater community and truly embody the ‘Samaritan Difference.’”

To learn more about Samaritan, visit www.samaritannj.org.

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