For the first time it felt like Fall was in the air with crisp cool weather on Friday night, but that didn’t stop Saratogians from coming out to support the Incredible Teddy Foundation’s Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction. Phil and Andi Lodico founded the organization in 2010 after their son Teddy was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, characterized by the underdevelopment of the diaphragm in utero.
Teddy is now a thriving little boy but his family’s experience inspired them to raise money and awareness to combat CDH which nationwide has a survival rate of only 50%. This annual event has grown with each year and last Friday’s party was marked with a record crowd and fundraising total. Guests filled the bar and veranda at Saratoga National and perused the impressive silent auction line up, staying warm sipping cocktails under the heat lamps. Raffle tickets were being snatched up by baseball lovers for a chance to win a VIP New York Yankees package and bids stacked up on silent auction items from sports memorabilia, to trips and show tickets.
One of the Foundation’s goals is to offset the enormous costs that families incur while their child is being treated for CDH, poignantly illustrated when Phil Lodico introduced a mother who spent 114 days in Boston after her baby was born. Phil then announced to the crowd that the Incredible Teddy Foundation was starting an endowment of $50,000 to offset housing costs for families who need to relocate to Boston after a CDH diagnosis. Phil’s company FairWind’s Partners made a $25,000 gift to start the endowment and the Lodico’s hope was for additional pledges from those in attendance Friday evening. What happened after Phil’s announcement was a testament to the dedication and passion of the Lodico’s, as hand after hand went up in the crowd to offer spontaenious donations for their endowment. Among the many supporters who gave were Dave and Stephanie Collins, Jenn and Kyle Perry, Julie Fuller and Christine and Jim Mastrianni. In what seemed like no time at all, a huge round of applause broke out as the Lodicos had surpassed their goal of $50,000.
The mood was celebratory as the evening went on and guests danced to the music from Kristen Renehan and Jim Mastrianni and filled up on scrumptious food from Prime. Spotted in the crowd were Kara and Bo Pritchard, Marci and Michael Phinney, Heath and Jeff Ames, Caroline Burke, Cara and Toby Milde and Alyssa and Jay Arnold. Some of the happy auction winners included Lisa Sasko and Christine Mastrianni who teamed up to bid on a stay at the Gore Mountain House, donated generously by Amy and Dan Sell. Jen and Tim Kelly are ready for the winter season winning a Burton snowboard and Patagonia jacket and Erica and Scott Fuller will be sitting in on a taping of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption”. Jennifer Marcellus will be enjoying an overnight at Saratoga Arms, donated by Sheila Sperling and the very lucky Loretta and Dave Brockenbrough were the winners of the Yankees raffle.
We caught up with Phil and Andi on Monday to discuss Friday’s hugely successful outcome. “We are thrilled by the overwhelming show of support for the foundation's new endowment called "Teddy's Home Away From Home Fund." The endowment allows us to offset the cost for any family with a child being treated for a diaphragmatic hernia staying at one of the three patient-family housing locations at Boston Children's Hospital. We are so proud and touched by the support we have received and how far The Incredible Teddy Foundation has come in just four short years”.