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The College of Nursing held its second annual NightinGala fundraiser event last month and brought in over $60,000 in funding for the college.

Held at the Foundry at World’s Fair Park, the event was emceed by Robin Wilhoit, anchorperson for WBIR-TV and member of the College of Nursing Board of Visitors.

Jan Simek, interim president of the University of Tennessee, presented the Dr. Sylvia E. Hart Distinguished Alumni of the Year Awards. The first recipient was Joe Emert ’78, president of First Choice Medical, member of the College of Nursing Board of Visitors and former member of the Chancellor’s Associates. The second recipient was Joan Creasia, dean of the College of Nursing. Dean Creasia’s daughters and granddaughter were on hand to surprise her and help present the award.

Sam Venable, author, humorist and columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel, was the guest speaker. Venable entertained the audience with lively stories based on East Tennessee lore. Susan Martin, vice chancellor and provost of the UT Knoxville campus, gave special remarks. Robbie Franklin of Furrow Auctioneers conducted an energetic live auction, and Freddie Brabson provided musical entertainment.

“The 2010 NightinGala was an enormous success, raising funds for the College of Nursing and providing two new simulation mannequins for nursing students,” said Dean Creasia.

The corporate underwriter for the event was Tennessee Donor Services. Corporate sponsors included The Pilot Corporation, Regional Neonatal Associates, University Health Systems and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Table sponsors were First Choice Medical, Joe & Cindy Emert, Margaret Heins-Laning, Parkwest Medical Center, Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc., Summit View Health Management, Skyridge and Lakeway Hospitals (Community Health Systems) and the Tennessee Nurses Association. Other contributors include Marty and Jennifer Vickery Smith and the College of Nursing faculty and staff.

The 2011 NightinGala will be held on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 at The Foundry on the Fair Site. For more information, contact Phyllis Moore at 865-974-3011 or or Debby Powell at 865-974-2755 or