Gala to Turn Wheeling Into Tropical Paradise

When you think of palm trees and sandy beaches, Wheeling may not be the first place to come to mind. But, Ohio Valley area supporters of West Virginia University Children’s Hospital will be transported to “A Tropical Paradise” when they attend the 11th annual Gala on Saturday, Aug. 1 at The White Palace at Wheeling Park.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, silent auction and dancing. The program and dinner will begin at 7 p.m.

During the program, Bernard Twigg, director of community affairs at WesBanco Bank Inc., will be honored for his community service.

A recipient of the Distinguished West Virginian Award, Twigg helped secure the initial funding for what is now The Highlands. He also was able to assist in securing funding for expansions for Wilson Lodge at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center and improvements at Marshall County’s Grand Vue Park. He is chairman of the Reynolds Memorial Hospital board of directors, a member of the Belomar Regional Council board of directors and executive committee, and a member of the Ohio Valley Building and Industrial Development Corp. Board and executive committee. He resides in Glen Dale with his wife, Sharon. They have three children and four grandchildren.

The family of Vivienne Voellinger of Wheeling will share the story of the care she receives at WVU Children’s Hospital.

Vivienne was born to Dr. Mark and Amanda Voellinger in September. Shortly after she was born, doctors discovered she had a very low platelet count. She was transported to WVU Children’s, where she was diagnosed with a rare condition called neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. She spent 10 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she received blood and platelet transfusions and other treatments. She is still receiving follow-up treatment at the WVU Children’s Pediatric Hematology Clinic.

After the live auction, gala attendees will dance to the sounds of The Move Makers Band, which will perform a wide variety of cover songs. In addition, the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh Dance Troupe will perform a variety of dances.

Proceeds from the event will benefit WVU Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Transport Team.

“Last year, 27 children were transported from the Ohio Valley to WVU Children’s by the Pediatric Transport Team, so that the care they needed could start before they even arrived in Morgantown,” said Cheryl Jones, director of WVU Children’s Hospital. “The proceeds from the Ohio Valley Gala benefit this crucial transport team.”

To purchase tickets to the gala or to obtain sponsorship information, contact Dee O’Palko, WVU Children’s Hospital development officer, at 304-598-4346 ext. 4 or opalkod Additional information can be found online at

Hartley & O’Brien, PLLC, and WTRF are top sponsors of this year’s event.