One of the Twin Cities’ premier charitable events, the 27th annual Children’s Star Gala takes place on Saturday, April 21, at the Depot in Minneapolis. Raising more than $2 million annually to benefit Children’s Minnesota and attended by more than 1,000 members of the Twin Cities community, it has quickly risen to the top of the must-attend list.

This year, the event is helmed by the leadership of tri-chairs Katharine Anderson Groethe, Kelly Harrington and Sue LaCroix. Drawn to support Children’s through personal experiences, professional connections and an overall desire to give back, all three are making an impact on the kids and families served by the largest pediatric health system in the region.

Once a full-time pediatric nurse in Indianapolis, LaCroix knew she wanted to get involved with a cause near and dear to her heart. “I strongly believe in the Children’s mission and have seen firsthand how difficult hospitalizations can be for families,” she notes. “And since no child is ever turned away from Children’s, it is imperative to have some additional support to keep care up to their standards.”

For Groethe and Harrington, the cause is personal. Harrington’s daughter, JJ, was born with a congenital heart defect and underwent two open-heart surgeries before she was a year old. Groethe’s son was diagnosed with a rare muscle disease at three and a half years old. “We spent a lot of time in the Children’s emergency department from falls or accidents before his diagnosis,” she notes. As for getting involved, she adds that she “was so amazed to know that there was an event in the Twin Cities area that raises so much money for such an incredible place like Children’s.”

Citing the impact that Children’s has had on her family, Harrington wanted to make sure that Children’s would be able to help many more people in the future. “We’re so blessed to have a resource like this in the community, and it’s really important that we stay on the cutting edge. By donating and giving on a continual basis, we can ensure we will.”