Nearly 1,100 guests attended the Ryan House Eighth Annual Community Breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore Resort on May 6 featuring Honorary Chair Luis “Gonzo” Gonzalez, senior advisor to the President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The event raised $337,000 that will directly support the nonprofit organization which relies 100 percent on community donation and cares for Arizona’s most medically fragile children and their families.

“As Ryan House celebrates its sixth year with open doors open hearts, we’re thrilled to announce that this year’s Community Breakfast set an attendance record of nearly 1,100 guests,” said Ryan House Executive Director Alyssa Crockett. “We are so grateful for the support of the community, which has opened its heart to Ryan House and embraced our mission. For the children and families we serve, Ryan House is a lifeline.”

Gonzalez lent his support as Honorary Chair of the Breakfast and gave remarks during the program about the importance of the Ryan House mission. Hospice of the Valley’s Community Engagement Director, Lin-Sue Cooney, served as the event emcee.

This year’s event chair was Joal Watson, wife of De Jon Watson, senior vice president of operations for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The event also featured a Ryan House family keynote from the Kizer Family, vocal performance by Ashley Creighton, and a blessing by Ryan Cottor, namesake for Ryan House.

Other special guests that morning included Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates and the Honorable Betsy Bayless, former Arizona Secretary of State and President Emeritus at Maricopa Integrated Health System.

Ryan House is a safe and joyful place where kids can be kids and families can be families. During respite stays of up to 28 days per year, Ryan House provides normative childhood experiences, including swimming and sleepovers, to children whose medical conditions make that difficult and empowers children to life their best life. As one of only two facilities of its kind in the nation, Ryan House is leading the way for a new model of care in pediatric palliative care.

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to serve 560 families in the six years Ryan House has been in operation,” said Crockett. “We estimate as many as 5,000 families in Maricopa County could benefit from this kind of care. The funds raised today will allow us to continue to reach those who need us most.”