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The 2003 Diamond Gala

Dedicated to the Memory of Maria McCarthy Ringwood


Presented by:  Stephen B. Lichtenberg, M.D., Chairman,

The Foundation for Vassar Brothers Medical Center


Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen…and welcome to the Foundation for Vassar Brothers Medical Center’s 14th annual Diamond Gala.


Every year, the Gala is our premier opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of people who have dedicated themselves to VBMC and to its mission of bringing the very best in healthcare to the people in this region.  That is just what we will do tonight - but our celebration will be mixed with sadness in view of the death earlier this week of a valued member of the Medical Center family - Maria McCarthy Ringwood.


Maria was many things to many people. Just ask around the room tonight and you’ll find the network of connections we all had to her.


Some knew her as the energetic, humorous and creative Associate Director of the Medical Center’s Foundation – someone devoted to Vassar Brothers and the everyday effort of raising crucial funds in support of it. 


Others knew her as the cherished partner of husband David, and loving mother of Liam and Grace – working hard to juggle the everyday demands of the working-parent household.


Some knew her through her parish, St. Columba, where she was a long-time parishioner, where she was married to David, where her children were baptized, and where she gave of her time to sing in the choir.


Finally, some knew her through her involvement with the theater.  Maria loved drama. Ask anyone who knew her. And she lived by the mantra – in all that she did – that the show must go on.   Tonight, that show is this Gala – and it will indeed go on. In fact, her family and her colleagues insist that the best way we can honor Maria’s memory is by making sure this Gala – a Gala where she was Director and Executive Producer – shines.


And while we have three honorees who we are truly delighted to honor and whose accomplishments we celebrate, our experience tonight is one that mixes sadness with celebration – in a sense, the recipe for life and a reminder to all of us that each day counts.


Let us have tonight count….. for Maria, in whose memory we dedicate this Gala, for all of you who have come once again to participate in this special event, and for our honorees and their families who we proudly salute this evening.