Georgetown Pediatric Gala History

Mary M. Hoobler, Gala Founder

Mary Hoobler is a truly remarkable woman who, in the midst of enormous personal tragedy, generated something of great value to the community. She founded the annual Georgetown Pediatrics Gala as a way to repay the hospital and its staff for their extraordinary efforts during her husband’s critical illness. Ms. Hoobler describes her passion for Georgetown Pediatrics in this way: “Georgetown University Hospital and the Pediatrics Gala are precious to me for very personal reasons. On December 22, 1997, my beloved husband and career public servant, James Hoobler, passed away from compromised lung function in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the hospital. For the last several weeks of his life, a machine typically used for premature infants acted as Jim’s lungs. During his treatment, I developed a strong and unique bond with his caregivers. Their concern for both Jim and me went well beyond that expected of medical professionals. For example, when it became clear Jim could not be saved, the lead physician offered to delay her Christmas travel plans to be with me when Jim died. At that moment, I decided I would find a way to repay the exceptional professionals in Georgetown’s pediatric unit and raise awareness of their unparalleled devotion to our community.”

In 2010, Kert and Forest Rawls-Blodgett created the Mary M. Hoobler Distinguished Service Award. The award is given to recognize an extraordinary individual who supports the programs and initiatives of the Department of Pediatrics. Fittingly, Mary Hoobler was presented with the inaugural award for her devotion, perseverance and dedication to Georgetown Pediatrics. She also received the inaugural Volunteer of the Year award in 2004. Mary has a B.S. in finance from the McIntire School of Commerce, and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, both of the University of Virginia.