MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The fourth annual WVU Medicine Children’s Eastern Panhandle Gala raised more than $100,000 to support children and their families at WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center.

Over 200 people gathered on Saturday (April 20) at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg for an evening of gourmet dining, silent and live auctions, and entertainment courtesy of the band Cazhmiere. This year’s theme was “City of Lights” and featured Las Vegas-style décor.  The event was emceed by the Panhandle News Network’s Marsha Chwalik


The gala was chaired by Scott Roach, WVU Hospitals East Board Chairman, and WVU Medicine Pediatrician William Wear, M.D. 10-month-old Lakyn Conner of Hedgesville, who has received all of her medical care from WVU Medicine Children’s both locally and in Morgantown, was celebrated as the 2024 Miracle Child after facing open heart surgery at only 6 months old.

Photo Cutline: 2024 Miracle Child Lakyn Conner is shown at the WVU Medicine Children’s Eastern Panhandle Gala with her parents Jewel Curry and Lukas Conner.


All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase updated equipment for Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers including video entertainment carts for children in the hospitals’ pediatric unit and emergency departments, according to a press release from WVU Medicine.


“We are grateful for our dedicated supporters who have made the Eastern Panhandle Children’s Gala a success for the past 4 years,” Marisa Sayre, executive director of marketing, communications, and development for WVU Medicine Children’s, said. “It was a beautiful night of honoring our compassionate donors and world-class team. WVU Medicine Children’s remains committed to our mission of building healthier futures for our children.”


A total of 34 sponsors contributed to the fundraising total, including top-level sponsors United Bank/United Wealth Management, CNB Bank, Pill & Pill, PLLC and the WVU Hospitals East Board of Directors.


“We are overwhelmed by the continued support of our community,” Roach said. “As we continue to grow our pediatrics services, our sponsors and supporters are helping us build healthier futures for children in the Eastern Region and bring world-class care right here to Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers.”


Since its inaugural event in 2018, the WVU Medicine Children’s Eastern Panhandle Gala has raised over 450,000 in proceeds to benefit children in the Eastern Region.


Planning for the 2025 WVU Medicine Children’s Eastern Panhandle Gala has already begun with the date being set for Saturday, April 5.

For more information about WVU Medicine Children’s, visit