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Celebrating Service: Casa Colina’s Tribute to Courage Raises More than $650K to Fund Free and Subsidized Care for Patients

POMONA, Calif., March 11, 2020 — To honor the bravery and perseverance of those recovering from traumatic injury and illness, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare hosted its annual Tribute to Courage Gala Saturday, March 7, 2020, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center in Pomona. Casa Colina’s largest fundraiser, this black-tie event attracts prominent figures from healthcare, entertainment, business, and local government.

This year’s gala, titled “From Survival to Service,” honored David Kiley, a 13-time Paralympic medalist and adaptive sports pioneer who led the Casa Colina Condors wheelchair basketball team to eight national championships throughout the 80s and 90s. The first wheelchair athlete to be featured in Sports Illustrated, Kiley turned his recovery from spinal cord injury into a lifetime of serving those with disabilities, expanding access to wheelchair and Paralympic sports through his innovative vision and helping to pave the way for Casa Colina’s beloved Outdoor Adventures program.

“It is such an honor to be here tonight to recognize such a hero in sports and in the Casa Colina community,” said Felice L. Loverso, PhD, Casa Colina President and CEO. “David, your story is proof that service to the greater good can truly help heal the body and spirit. Congratulations on this honor.

Approximately 800 were on hand to celebrate Kiley’s contributions to wheelchair sports and to Casa Colina’s broad continuum of care, which includes acute rehabilitation, medical-surgical services, residential rehabilitation, outpatient services, children’s services, and more.

The evening featured several other guests of honor, including Hal Hargrave, Jr., a former Casa Colina patient and founder of the Be Perfect Foundation; Col. (Ret.) Rocco Armonda, MD, FAANS, whose neurosurgery fieldwork in Iraq and Afghanistan advanced care techniques for the most severe battlefield head injuries; and Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, a former patient of Dr. Armonda and Casa Colina who was combat-injured and now shares his miraculous recovery story to inspire other veterans nationally with traumatic brain injury.

“Tonight, we honor those who have given blood, sweat, and tears for the greater good,” said Loverso. “These individuals personify what it means to serve something greater than themselves. They are heroes in their own right.”

Actor, writer, and director Bonnie Hunt returned this year to host the event. Hunt, a longtime Casa Colina supporter and former oncology nurse, presented the Casa Colina Nurse Scholar Award, created in her honor, to a nurse completing education and professional development to build their nursing skills and advance the field.

This year’s gala raised more than $650,000 toward free and subsidized care to help under-resourced patients and, in some cases, to provide temporary housing for families to be near loved ones during rehabilitation.

Platinum sponsors included JTS Surgical Innovations; Morrison Healthcare; Carl H. Novotny, Rev. Judith L. Swahnberg, and the Boston Foundation; Shernoff Bidart Echeverria, LLP; and UCLA Health Department of Neurosurgery. Gold sponsors included Allied Anesthesia Medical Group; Spencer Au; Bentley & More, LLP; First Law Group; Golden Eagle Plumbing; Inland Valley Daily Bulletin / San Gabriel Valley Tribune; Felice Loverso, PhD and Denise Loverso; Moss Adams, LLP; Pacific Rim Rehabilitation; Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP; Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center; the Scudder Family; and Charles and Elaine Tachdjian.

For more information about Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare or to donate to the Casa Colina Foundation, visit or contact or 909/596-7733, Ext. 2222.