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Inn Expansion Benefits from Morella Tribute

Photos by Bill Branson

The capital expansion fund for the Children's Inn at NIH recently received a $25,000 donation on behalf of former congressional Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.), who visited the inn on Apr. 22 for a formal check presentation. Also among the more than two dozen people attending the event were NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Clinical Center director Dr. John Gallin and several members of the inn board of directors.

"Connie and Tony Morella have given so much of themselves to the inn, both personally and professionally," said Dr. Lori Wiener, president of the inn's board of directors. "You're giving us a gift, but you have always been a gift to us."

Connie Morella thanks supporters for generosity to the inn.

The donation represents proceeds from a tribute dinner held in Morella's honor at Indian Springs Country Club. More than 1,200 local business leaders, friends and other supporters wanted to thank her for her dedicated service and lifelong contributions to the region. Morella suggested that any additional funds from the dinner be donated to the inn. She spent 8 terms over 16 years in Congress representing the district in which NIH is located and was a fixture at major NIH and inn milestones. In addition, her husband, Tony, has served on the inn board of directors since October 1994.

At the Children's Inn for a check presentation are (from l) Mary Ann Estey, Morella's longtime assistant and a chief organizer of the tribute dinner; former Rep. Connie Morella; Dr. Lori Wiener, president of the inn board of directors; Tyrrell Flawn, inn executive director; and NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni.

Construction of the inn expansion is well under way.

Thanking her supporters for the tribute dinner and commending NIH and inn officials for the concept of the inn and its thriving success, Morella remarked, "It has been said that when you touch a rock, you touch the past. When you touch a flower, you touch the present. But when you touch a child, you touch the future."

Zerhouni greets Morella at the inn.

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