Mardi Gras King and Queen crowned at annual ball - February 24, 2014

Courtesy of NWI Times

MERRILLVILLE | Crowned at the annual Methodist Hospitals Foundation Mardi Gras Ball held Feb. 15 at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, King Mario Minotti and Queen Randalynn McColly-Fleener will preside over the foundation’s 11 philanthropic Krewes’ fundraising efforts for the next year.

Patterned after their counterparts in Mobile, Ala. and New Orleans, the Methodist Hospitals Foundation Krewes have raised $107,000 to date in support of health care in Northwest Indiana. That is $42,000 more than the Krewes raised the previous year, and donations continue to arrive.

“For the first time in the history of the Methodist Hospitals Foundation, our Krewes will be led by two individuals from the community at-large,” foundation Executive Director Rob Hanrahan said. “Our goal is to make more people in the community aware of the work of the foundation.”

Minotti, of Crown Point, and McColly-Fleener, of Munster, earned their titles because the Krewes they led were the top fundraisers. As king and queen, the two will lead overall fundraising goals for the next year and serve as ambassadors for the foundation.

Minotti, a partner with Legacy Investment Services, thanked the members of Krewe Athena for helping secure his crown.

“We work in support of breast health. Our captain, Donna Ovanek, a manager at Marshalls, along with our entire team, worked so very hard to raise money for this very worthy cause,” Minotti said. “This year we intend to work even harder. We have goals to increase awareness in our region for breast cancer in men. It is vital that men know they are at risk, too.”

McColly-Fleener, who works at Forest Ridge Academy and McColly Realty, said her focus will be to continue to engage the community in philanthropy in support of health care.

“Mario and I have already been talking about hosting new events and getting a great many more individuals involved in the good works of the foundation,” said McColly-Fleener, who will begin medical school in the fall.

“We are very passionate about what we do. The difference it makes in the lives of those around us keeps us working harder for this very worthwhile cause.”