Steel Magnolias is a non-profit organization that raises funds to benefit children with developmental delays and disabilities, behavioral and learning challenges, and other special needs. Steel Magnolias is an all-volunteer organization that has been supporting Stramski Children’s Developmental Center at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach – raising more than $5.7 million over 25 years.
The Stramski Children’s Developmental Center evaluates and coordinates care through several programs including Behavior and Neurodevelopment, Genetics, Fragile X, Craniofacial, sleep disorders, High-Risk Infant Follow-up, and psychological testing. These programs allow parents to learn more about their children along with recommendations to help them thrive. Often, parents have difficulty advocating for their children due to cultural, educational, and language differences. The Stramski Children’s Developmental Center fills this gap by facilitating access to services and monitoring progress.
“I’m always touched by the unwavering support the Steel Magnolias has shown us over the years,” says Ioana Pal, Psy.D., clinical psychologist, Stramski Children’s Developmental Center, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “Because of the generous support the Steel Magnolias and the community provide, each year we’re able to treat more than 4,000 children with serious, often life-long, medical, neurodevelopmental and other conditions.”
Steel Magnolias host astonishing and creative fundraisers that have turned into “Signature Events” that attendees and supporters of the Steel Magnolias and Stramski Developmental Center look forward to every year. Their Five Alarm Fundraiser hosted at the Los Angeles County Fire Museum, drew in 200 guests, and raised more than $64,000.
Before the year ended in 2022, the Steel Magnolias presented a check to the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center for $152,500 at Betty Reckas Cultural Center to celebrate the holidays and introduce new members. All in effort to continue the ongoing growth of the organization that was inspired by Geraldine A. Stramski.
Geraldine was a developmental pediatrician who founded the Children’s Chronic Disease Center encouraging a multidisciplinary team approach to the multiple health issues often encountered in children with developmental conditions. After her passing in 1991 the center was renamed in her honor as the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. Geraldine’s friend, Shirley Wild, alongside Anthony Gargliardi, founded Steel Magnolias shortly after Geraldine passed away, which has since supported the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center through annual fundraising efforts.