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King and Queen of the 2017 Emerald Ball

Honoring Jeff and Sandy Thompson

As a former CEO and physician in Gundersen's Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Critical Care, Jeff Thompson, MD, has worn several different hats in his service to Gundersen Health System. Now he can add "crown" to that list as Dr. Thompson and his wife, Sandy, have been named King and Queen of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® 9th Annual Emerald Ball.

Dr. Jeff and Sandy Thompson

"I've had the privilege to work in Pediatrics for 30 years. That put me in a position to be involved when Children's Miracle Network Hospitals first came to Gundersen. As an ICU doctor I have often seen the stress on the faces of families who have children in the hospital. You can't help but be moved by that. That's why Sandy and I have given our support to CMN Hospitals for many years," says Dr. Thompson.

He adds, "While Gundersen is the largest pediatric center in the area, I'm proud that CMN Hospitals reaches beyond Gundersen, serving families in 24 counties wherever there is a need. CMN Hospitals provides meal tickets, transportation and equipment which may seem like small things, but at times of crisis or dealing with long-term health issues, these ‘small things' make a big difference in the lives of families. CMN Hospitals brings stability and support to families as they traverse the tough times."

Behind every great man is a great woman. Sandy Thompson has long filled that role—quietly and modestly. As in most things, Sandy is bashful about sharing the limelight that comes with her new "royal title."

"I served as back-up at home," recalls Sandy. "The kids and I would stay up and watch the CMN Hospitals telethons, and watch for Jeff and many of our friends manning the phone bank. We'd cheer to see the totals growing."

But Sandy's role was much more than cheerleader. "As the person responsible for all the family's finances, she made sure that we also contributed to the important work of CMN Hospitals with our ongoing financial support," Dr. Thompson is quick to point out.

"It's a very nice honor be chosen as King and Queen of the Emerald Ball," the Thompsons share. "But we also honor all the people who do the work 365 days a year—fundraising and helping families. The Emerald Ball is a great opportunity to highlight all the good work done throughout the year by so many."

The Emerald Ball is Friday, March 31, at the Cargill Room, 328 Front Street in La Crosse. Reservations are just $45 each with proceeds benefitting CMN Hospitals, a service of Gundersen Medical Foundation. All of the funds raised stay local to help children, no matter what their illness or injury or where they receive their care.

To make your reservation, visit the CMN Hospitals office or call 608-775-4424. Please reserve your tickets by March 23. If you are unable to attend the ball but would like to make a donation, call 608-775-4424. The event is sponsored by Spectrum and La Crosse Media Group.

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