When a family member is sick, it changes the way you view the world.

Such was the case for Jean Callison, whose cousin was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 7.

Immediate past president of the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center Plano, Legacy Chapter, Callison said that singular event, more than three decades ago, was the catalyst for her involvement in the relatively young organization.

“My cousin is now 43,” Callison said, “and for me volunteering at Children’s Medical Center Plano is a way of saying ‘thank you’ and paying it forward. I enjoy volunteering with the ladies of the Women’s Auxiliary. They work hard serving the kids, families and staff and have fun at the same time.”

At the moment, Callison is focused on co-chairing the Auxiliary’s biggest fundraising event of the year–the Legacy of Love Benefit & Fashion Show, taking place at Mercedes-Benz of Plano Thursday, April 7. The show will feature fashions from TOOTSIES, Circa2000 Menswear and Vineyard Vines, along with food and drinks from Seasons 52, Sambuca, EatZi’s and other restaurants. Individual tickets are $125 and are available at legacyoflovebenefit.org.

“Our goal is to raise $150,000 for Children’s Medical Center Plano on April 7,” Callison said. “We are so thrilled that in one night so many from our community can come together to support our children.”

Sarah and Jodi Sanders at Legacy of Love 2015

All funds raised will be used for patient support, equipment and other program needs at the hospital. Since 2010, the Legacy Chapter has raised more than $500,000.

“I am deeply humbled to work with such gracious Collin County women who contribute tirelessly to Children’s,” said Joyce Logan, 2016 Legacy of Love co-chair. “This extraordinary event has an exciting ambiance that makes it special to our community. It is truly amazing to see the results it brings to the young patients at Children’s, their families and staff.”

The Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center’s flagship hospital in Dallas was formed in 1962 by combining the auxiliaries from Bradford Memorial Hospital for Babies, Children’s Hospital of Texas and Richmond Freeman Memorial Clinic. In the very early days, Auxiliary volunteers assisted hospital staff in all aspects of running the hospital, from helping with admitting patients and running samples to the lab to assisting physicians. As the membership grew, so did its mission to make life better for children. The Auxiliary carries out this mission by raising funds for hospital priorities, offering uplifting activities for patient families, providing support and recognition to hospital staff, and raising awareness of the hospital in the community. Since its inception, the Auxiliary has contributed more than $19 million to Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

In 2010, the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center Plano, Legacy Chapter, was formed to help meet the needs of children in the northern communities of Grayson, Collin, Denton, Fannin and Cooke counties. The Legacy Chapter now has 175 members and is growing as quickly as the area it serves. Since opening in 2008, Children’s Medical Center Plano has cared for approximately 200,000 children.

“Funds raised continue to support hospital program needs and has helped provide innovative equipment to maintain a high quality of care for the children of our community,” said current Legacy Chapter President Sheri Steele.

“One result of our fundraising efforts is the ability to give every child requiring surgery a bear to hug. This practice is in its third year and has become a signature project for the Women’s Auxiliary, Legacy Chapter,” Steele said.

Christie Long, Sheri Wise, Rosanna McGill, Dawn Robinson, Diane Hopson, Lara Belle Isle, Julie Howell, Lisa Raskin

Other funds in 2014 and 2015 supported Ophthalmology, Music Therapy, the Center for Pediatric Eating Disorders, Patient and Family Support Services, the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, and the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. For Callison, it is really quite simple: “I’m grateful that we have a first-class children’s hospital in our community, and I want to be a part of the ‘team’ that makes life better for children. It’s just personally rewarding to give back.”

To learn more about joining the team of Auxiliary members, please click here.

Legacy of Love Benefit and Fashion Show

When: Thursday, April 7, 2016, 6–9:30 p.m.

Where: Mercedes-Benz of Plano headquarters 6455 Dallas Parkway in Plano, Texas

Tickets: Individual tickets are $125 and are available for purchase online. Sponsorships begin at $1,500 and are available through the Legacy of Love chairs and committee members.

Contact: legacylove@childrensauxiliary.org

The Women’s Auxiliary, Legacy Chapter

The Women’s Auxiliary, Legacy Chapter was formed in 2010 to help meet the needs of Children’s Medical Center Plano, which officially opened its doors in August 2008. Net proceeds from the Legacy of Love Benefit and Fashion Show will go directly to Children’s Medical Center Plano. Since 2010, the Women’s Auxiliary, Legacy Chapter has raised over $500,000 in support of Children’s mission to make life better for children.

For even more information on The Women’s Auxiliary, click here.

Heidi Harris Cannella

Heidi is the Director of Development Communications for the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.