The Duke Children's Society Celebration 

Celebrating generosity and leaders in pediatric philanthropy 

The second annual Duke Children’s Society Celebration was held on September 14,2023 at Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center on Duke University campus. The Duke Children’s Society recognizes annual donors who give $2,500 or more cumulatively to any area at Duke Children’s. In the 2022 fiscal year, Duke Children’s Society members contributed $4M –40% of the total revenue raised through annual fundraising.

Nearly 125 attendees heard from K.C. Nelson, Chair of the Duke Children’s National Leadership Council, and Dr. Ann M. Reed, chair of the department of pediatrics and physician-and-chief of Duke Children’s. They were given a special video tour of Duke Children’s and were our first audience to meet our 2023-2024 Champion Patient Ambassadors.

During the event, the Forrest family shared their incredible Duke Children’s story that led them to become Society members by supporting pediatric urology research that will help more children like their son, Zach. Chief of the division of pediatric urology, John Wiener, MD, who is one of Zach’s providers, shared his mission to help children like Zach by improving overall quality of life and the joy and importance of working collaboratively with other providers across Duke Children’s to create comprehensive care plans for every patient.

Two awards were presented during the event: the Duke Children's Hero Award and the first-ever Duke Children's Partner Award. 

See photos from the 2023 Duke Children's Society Luncheon! 



The Duke Children’s Hero Award was established in 2018 to recognize and honor individuals who have shown an exceptional commitment to furthering the Duke Children’s mission of providing the best medical care to every child. The honoree or honorees must be advocates, supporters, partners, and friends of Duke Children’s who have devoted their own time and resources to help the patients, physicians, and staff at our hospitals and clinics.

The Duke Children’s Hero Award was presented to Hands for Hearts. Hands for Hearts was founded in 2014 by Skotty Wannamaker, Jeff Fusaiotti, and Kathleen Little, in memory of Matthew (“Matt”) Francis Sullivan, who passed in January 2014.  Based in the Triad, Hands for Hearts is North Carolina’s leading non-profit organization in the support of children and families affected by congenital heart defects (CHD). In 2018, Hands for Hearts pledged $500,000 to fund an annual advanced, fourth-year pediatric cardiology fellowship at Duke Children’s: the Matthew F. Sullivan Advanced Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship. These amazing doctors get advanced training in the field of CHDs while serving the Triad out of Duke Children’s Specialty Services, located in Greensboro, NC.

Hands for Hearts persevered during the pandemic when they were unable to hold fundraisers, and their recent Casino Night raised over $345,000 to improve the lives of children with congenital heart defects. The advanced training opportunities Hands for Hearts provided for Duke Children’s pediatric cardiologists will impact kids with congenital heart defects around the state, country, and world.



The Duke Children’s Partner Award is a new award to recognize and honor our corporate partners who have shown an exceptional commitment to furthering the Duke Children’s mission of providing the best medical care to every child. These organizations must be staunch advocates for Duke Children’s, aligning their social responsibility with our missions of world-class clinical care, pediatric research that saves lives, and provider education that will shape the pediatricians of tomorrow.

The first-ever Duke Children’s Partner Award was given to MIX 101.5 and Capitol Broadcasting Company in recognition of their Radiothon partnership. MIX 101.5 has been our media partner for Radiothon for over 28 years and has provided consistent support to Duke Children’s & Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The annual Radiothon has raised over $20 million for Duke Children’s since its inception. This year, Radiothon will be held December 12 and 13. Tune into MIX 101.5 during these dates to hear incredible stories of hope and healing from patient families, and to experience just how important Radiothon is to Duke Children’s. 

The 2023-2024 Duke Children's Champion Patient Ambassadors. 

Our Champion Ambassadors from left to right: Anthony, Braeden, Samantha, Zach, and Harper! 

The 2023 Duke Children's Hero Award recipients: Hands for Hearts. 

The 2023 Duke Children's Partner Award recipients: MIX 101.5. 

The Forrest Family shared their Duke Children's story. 

The Forrests are Duke Children's Society members to show their gratitude for the care their son, Zach, has received. 

Zach, center, sits surrounded by John Wiener, MD, and Eileen Chambers, MD. Drs. Wiener and Chambers are key members of Zach's care team. His parents, James and Julie, stand behind the group.


Later that day, Duke Children’s hosted its first-ever shark tank style competition. Three projects were presented by members of the pediatrics faculty, and one winner was chosen. Dr. Lindsay Terrell, Clinical Director of Duke’s Foster Care Clinic, won the sharks over with her project which will help bridge the gap between the State of North Carolina and child welfare agencies, and the vulnerable children in the foster system for whom Duke is providing care. Generous donors contributed to the prize.  We look forward to hearing about Dr. Terrell’s progress along the way as she implements Fostering Health.

See photos from the 2023 Duke Children's Shark Tank! 


K.C. Nelson and Lindsay Terrell Shark Tank
The Duke Children's Society

The Duke Children's Society is a special group of annual donors committed to the Duke Children’s mission of clinical care, pediatric research, and provider education that will impact children not just in Durham, but around the world. Support from members of this society provides the philanthropic leadership for this critical work.

This society honors the generosity of supporters who have given $2,500 or more during a fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) to Duke Children’s. The impact of your generosity is significant as we continue our mission to provide hope and healing for the children and families we treat. Your Duke Children’s Society commitment helps us continue our mission to build a healthier tomorrow for our children.



We appreciate gifts of any size, making sure that your generosity is used to advance medical care and provide a better tomorrow for our children. You can choose a dollar amount to give now, or continue exploring more ways that you can support Duke Children’s.