Second Annual BennettStrong Foundation Gala A Huge Success


Click to View Photos from the 2nd Annual BennettStrong Foundation Gala (Photos Courtesy of 

The BennettStrong Foundation held its second annual gala on Feb. 16 at the Northampton Valley Country Club and raised funds for it’s N/IICU parent survival kits; a project that the foundation has been working on in conjunction with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Keynote Speaker Brian Tretola and his wife Rachael.

BennettStrong raised nearly $7,000 from the event as the foundation once again hit its goal to continue the funding of the parent survival kits in the N/IICU. Phase one of the kits include journals and a pen that have officially been distributed to families at CHOP for just over a month. The purpose of the journals is to give parents a means to write down thoughts, doctor notes or even questions they may have about their child.

The foundation is hoping that the journals will help parents strengthen their abilities to bond with their baby and advocate for their child with the child’s medical team. The foundation’s long-term goal is to work with hospital staff to expand the kits in the future.

Mary Pellegrino, Co-Founder BennettStrong Foundation

“On behalf of the BennettStrong Foundation we want to thank everyone that made our second annual gala a success,” said co-founder Mary Pellegrino. “Words can’t describe how grateful we are for the support and generosity of our guests and donors.”

The night featured keynote speaker Brian Tretola, a former N/IICU parent who spent nine months at CHOP’s N/IICU with his daughter Harper who is now five years old. Tretola spoke about his journey through the N/IICU with his wife, Rachael, and Harper and how important journaling was to him.

Marisa Pilla, Sports Broadcaster and Philly Native, served as emcee of the event, while New Solutions Entertainment provided the musical entertainment for the evening.

Throughout the night gala attendees had the opportunity to win a variety of raffle baskets by generous donors within the community. Guests were also able to participate in a silent auction and a trip to Florida was given away as well!

The mission of the BennettStrong Foundation is to provide support to families of medically complex children. For more information visit our website at or stay up-to-date with the foundation by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.


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