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Published on January 21, 2014

Saint Mary’s Names Co-Chairs for Gala 2014 “A Night in Venice” to Benefit Patient Care

WATERBURY, Conn. (January 21, 2014) –Saint Mary’s Hospital Foundation will host the 2014 Saint Mary’s Hospital Gala, “A Night in Venice,” on Saturday, February 1, at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. This year’s event features an elegant dinner and dancing as well as Saint Mary’s legendary live and silent auctions.

Dr. and Mrs. Palesty

Co-chairs Dr. J. Alexander and Mrs.
Abagail E. Palesty of Beacon Falls.

The co-chairs of Gala 2014 are Dr. J. Alexander and Mrs. Abagail E. Palesty of Beacon Falls and Mr. Richard M. and Mrs. Robin M. Sills of Naugatuck.

New to the Gala this year is a specialty raffle for a $25,000 gift certificate from Onyx II Fine Jewelers of Watertown. Music will be provided by New York City-based band, “Live Wire.”

Dr. Palesty is a board-certified general surgeon and surgical oncologist with Saint Mary’s Hospital and the Breast & Oncology Center in Southbury and a leading robotic surgeon in the community. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he received his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada and completed his residency training in general surgery at Saint Mary’s Hospital and a research fellowship in plastic surgery at Yale University. He then went on to finish a two-year surgical oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. He is currently the Program Director of the General Surgery Training Program and Chairman of the Committee on Cancer at Saint Mary’s Hospital and also is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Abagail Palesty attended the Taft School and Trinity College, graduating with a Bachelor of the Arts in Women's Studies. She has served as an account manager for Walgreens Infusion Services since 2011 and a former staff member of Saint Mary’s Department of Surgery. Abagail serves on the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors and as a member of its Development Committee.

Mr. and Mrs. Sills

Mr. Richard M. and Mrs.
Robin M. Sills of Naugatuck

Richard Sills has specialized in sales and estimating for the Torrington Supply Company for 33 years. A graduate of Post University, he has served as a loan executive for the United Way, as a member of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Waterbury and has volunteered for many community organizations, including Literacy Volunteers of CT.

Robin Sills has served as the Physician Relations Specialists and Patient Advocate for Naugatuck Valley Radiology Associates since 2003. She was a nurse for Saint Mary's Hospital for 21 years. A graduate of Saint Mary's Hospital School of Nursing and Mattatuck Community College, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from The University of Connecticut. Robin is a member of the Saint Mary’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, a past Chair of the Greater Waterbury Chamber’s Health Care Council and served as the 2013 chair of the Business Women’s Forum. A recipient of the Malcolm Baldridge Volunteer of the year Award, Robin serves on a number of boards in the community, including the Home to Home Foundation.

Presenting sponsors of Gala 2014 are Brown Rudnick, Onyx II Fine Jewelers and Webster Bank. Proceeds from this year’s Gala will benefit Saint Mary’s Patient Care Fund.

Tickets are $200 per person or $2,000 for a table of 10. Attire is black tie optional. For information about tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please call the Foundation at (203) 709-6391 or visit

Media Contact

Jennifer Clement
Corporate Communications Specialist

(203) 709-6240