To the sounds of Lauren Daigle’s “Rescue,” the volunteers of Newborn Hope celebrated 48 years of providing resources “to give premature babies a better start in life.”

Traditionally a glittering holiday event at The Broadmoor, the nonprofit’s fundraising gala became a pandemic-year virtual community evening Nov. 14.

Emcee J.J. Kaelin, executive adviser, joined co-host Johnny Joy from KQSC Mountain Country studios for the fundraiser, which was highlighted by a virtual tour of the Penrose-St. Francis Health Services NICU with its tiniest of tiny preemies.

One of every 10 babies in Colorado is born pre-term, and prematurity is the leading cause of death for babies, Kaelin and Joy told the several hundred supporters watching online. “You are hope, we are hope,” Kaelin told them.

Since 1973, Newborn Hope Inc. has raised more than $5 million for Colorado babies and families “impacted by prematurity.”

Support doesn’t stop at the hospital but also helps when premature babies go home, the co-hosts explained as they introduced the newest program, the Preemie Family Assistance Fund.

That fund provided grants to Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation Colorado Springs and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services for the services needed when families transition home from NICU.

Other grant recipients for 2020 included Good Samaritan Medical Center Foundation, Lafayette; Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo; Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation; Special Kids Special Care, South Denver Metro; and Love for Lily, Boulder. Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center in Denver received a grant for car seats, travel vouchers and diaper supplies for care of substance-exposed newborns.

November Noel event sponsors were thanked: Classic Homes, El Pomar Foundation, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Living Water Fund, Nursing & Therapy Services of Colorado, Ent Credit Union and Brock & Company.

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