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Saint Clare's Foundation to Hold Annual Spring Gala on April 1

March 24, 2011

April 1 event honors The Robert and Joan Dircks Foundation and Edward J. McManus, MD for their contributions to Saint Clare’s and the community

Saint Clare’s Annual Spring Gala, the Foundation’s largest and most important fundraiser – raising unrestricted funds that enable Saint Clare’s to provide area residents the highest quality healthcare possible – will be held on Friday, April 1, 2011 at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

The Spring Gala aims to raise funds for future patient technologies, as well as to recognize those who have provided critical support to Saint Clare’s, and its mission to improve the health and well-being of our community by providing the highest quality, compassionate care. In addition to an extensive live and silent auction and a prize raffle drawing, this year, Saint Clare’s will bestow two annual awards, the Leadership Award and the Physician Humanitarian Award, in recognition of longstanding dedication and support to Saint Clare’s and to the community.

“The Foundation is excited and proud to honor two distinguished members of our community,” said Basil F. O’Connor, Chair of Saint Clare’s Foundation, “and to recognize their contributions to Saint Clare’s, to our commitment of Extraordinary Family-Centered Care, as well as to our community.”

2011 Leadership Award
Saint Clare’s Foundation will present the 2011 Leadership Award to The Robert and Joan Dircks Foundation, for the organization’s philanthropic efforts. This private, family foundation was formed to “share their wealth among charities” after Joan Dircks – a 30-year hospital volunteer – passed away from melanoma in 1990. The Foundation’s first gift was a $1 million endowment to Saint Clare’s in Joan Dircks’ name to support the cancer treatment program. When Robert Dircks, the Chief Financial Officer of the Warner-Lambert Company and a member of Saint Clare’s Board of Trustees, passed away in 1996, the family’s community stewardship was championed by their five children. Since the endowment, the Dircks Foundation has made a number of grants to Saint Clare’s, still with the idea that their support is used to further the development of services and programs. “Giving back to the community was such an important part of who our parents were,” said Carolyn Dircks Van Riper. “Our parents always felt the responsibility to share their good fortune – and what better way to honor them and perpetuate their values and priorities than to support the good work of Saint Clare’s for years to come.”

2011 Physician Humanitarian Award
The 2011 Physician Humanitarian Award will be presented to Edward J. McManus, MD, for his expertise in the medical field and his commitment and service to Saint Clare’s Health System and our community.  Dr. McManus first came to Saint Clare’s Health System 31 years ago as a medical student.  He then trained in the Midwest and the Washington, D.C area, but returned to practice in Morris County in 1989 and joined the Saint Clare’s staff – where, he said, he saw huge potential and opportunity. “I wanted to contribute to the community, and I noticed a void in my specialty, infectious diseases. I have enjoyed watching the growth of Saint Clare’s over the years, and still think there is great potential for the Health System and everyone who works in it to reinvent themselves – particularly with the changes in the health care environment,” said Dr. McManus. Over the next 21 years, he distinguished himself as a top consultant, and along with his partners, Dr. McManus developed one of the largest infectious disease group practices in the country – ID Associates, P.A./ID Care, Inc. Throughout his career at Saint Clare’s, Dr. McManus has established benchmarks for quality, and has been a longstanding supporter of the projects of Saint Clare’s Foundation.

Also featured at the 2011 Spring Gala will be live entertainment by The Infernos, known as “America’s #1 Show Band,” whose lineup includes Kenny Simmons, former member of Motown Records three-time Grammy Award-winning group, The Commodores, and this year’s Celebrity Emcee Joe Nolan, announcer for the Jets and Rutgers football games and traffic announcer on WABC Channel 7 and 95.5’s WPLJ/FM radio.

Join us at the Spring Gala to celebrate how Saint Clare’s is Turning Promise Into Practice every day with the support of the community we serve. For more information on donating, volunteering or attending the Spring Gala, please follow the link or call Saint Clare's Foundation at 973-983-5300.

About Saint Clare’s Health System
Saint Clare’s Health System, which has served the healthcare needs of northwestern New Jersey residents since 1895, is the region’s premier provider of community-based healthcare and behavioral health services. Saint Clare’s operates hospitals in Boonton Township, Denville, Dover and Sussex Borough and other facilities located throughout Morris and Sussex counties. For more information about Saint Clare’s Health System, please visit

Saint Clare’s is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; and home health agencies.

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