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MEL’S DINER KICKS OFF 15TH ANNUAL HELPING KIDS WITH CANCER RADIOTHON ON FRIDAY, NOV. 11

11/08/2016

The southwest Florida community is invited to breakfast at Mel’s Diner on Friday, Nov. 11 from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. to help kick off the 15th Annual Helping Kids with Cancer Radiothon. Stop in during the event, make a donation of $5 or more to Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund, and receive a breakfast on the house. Breakfast includes two eggs, two pancakes, two pieces of bacon and a coffee or small juice. 

Mel’s Diner will be accepting donations now through Jan. 13 at restaurants located in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Naples and Golden Gate. Tune into Cat Country 107.1 FM on Friday, Jan. 13 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Helping Kids with Cancer Radiothon and make a pledge to support child patients receiving services at Golisano Children’s Hospital. 

Established in 1995, Barbara’s Friends provides equipment, staffing and services to support lifesaving cancer care for children from across southwest Florida at Golisano Children’s Hospital.The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program is the ONLY program of its kind in southwest Florida, and has served over 3,500 patients since opening. No child is denied treatment or turned away as a result of their family’s inability to pay for care.

For more information about the Barbara’s Friends fund and supporting child patients in your community, please call (239) 343-6950 or visit LeeHealth.org/Foundation.

Lee Health Foundation raises $100 million to reach campaign goal for new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida - SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. pledges final $1 million to build America’s newest Children’s Hospital

11/03/2016

Lee Health Foundation is thrilled to announce that $100 million has been raised to achieve the Campaign GOAL for Children, a five-year, $100 million capital campaign to build the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida to serve children and families from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The vision for this pediatric center of medical excellence has spanned many years in the planning stages, and the new 292,000-square-foot, 128-bed, seven-story tower is scheduled for completion and opening in April 2017.

During a check presentation ceremony held on Nov. 2 at Lee Health’s HealthPark Medical Center, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. presented a check to Lee Health Foundation for $2.4 million, and pledged another $1 million to meet the campaign goal for the hospital. In total, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has pledged and contributed $16 million to the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

“The mission of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is to advance the pediatric health care in the region, and for the past eight years, this charity has dedicated funds from its annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, towards the new hospital,” said Elaine Hawkins, president of SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “With support from our trustees, event attendees, volunteers and community partners, we proudly represent so many in the community who believe in the power of giving and putting kids first!” 

In May 2012, Mr. B. Thomas Golisano pledged a remarkable $20 million matching challenge grant that served as a call to the community to support children’s health care and construction of a new children’s hospital for Southwest Florida. In recognition of the gift, the hospital was renamed Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. 

“I am overwhelmed with the generosity of our entire Southwest Florida community. The thousands of gifts, regardless of size, coupled with Mr. Golisano’s $20 million matching gift, made the new Golisano Children’s Hospital possible. This is truly the community’s hospital and I am honored to have been part of this extraordinary effort,” said Joe Catti, President and CEO of FineMark National Bank & Trust and Chair of the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida capital campaign.

 “This is the hospital that YOU, the community have built,” said Skip Leonard, Chief Foundation Officer, Lee Health Foundation. “Mr. Golisano and SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. contributed lead gifts to the campaign, igniting the community to contribute as well, including children with lemonade stands, local businesses and schools, renowned philanthropists, participants of fishing tournaments and golf events, neighborhood groups and even lottery winners are among the thousands who have contributed, collectively raising $100 million to fund the construction of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.”

Military Heroes Delivering Luvybears to Cape Coral Hospital on Nov. 1

10/28/2016

At 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1, Cape Coral Hospital will receive a delivery of Luvybear Quilts for Tots (www.luvybearquilts4tots.com). These little teddy bears wrapped in quilts are donated to provide comfort to children in local emergency departments, as well as to the young patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Following a parade featuring wagons of bears and patriotic music in the main lobby, the Luvybears will be presented to Lisa Dragonette, guest services coordinator, Cape Coral Hospital, by a special group of heroes, including:

Suzanne Lewis, RN, United States Air Force

Sgt. Ernest La Fehr, United States Marine Corp

Daniel Dragonette, United States Coast Guard Naval Reserve

Capt. John Arens, Merchant Marines, United States Army Paratrooper, United States Navy 

Former Miss Teen American Beauty 2015 Dakota Peoples also will be there to hand out the bears and meet with children and caregivers. 

PERFECT GAME SELECT BASEBALL FESTIVAL RAISES MORE THAN $29K FOR GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

9/27/2016

Earlier this month, the Perfect Game (PG) Select Baseball Festival, held at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, raised more than $29,000 for the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. In addition to the donations raised, the players and their parents took a tour of the facility, meeting with patients and handing out signed baseballs. Each team also signed a Golisano labeled jersey to be framed and hung in the new hospital after it’s opening in March 2017. 

The PG Select Baseball Festival took place over the course of the Labor Day weekend, showcasing 40 of the best 14u youth baseball players in North America. The game exhibition was streamed on MLB.com and broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports from JetBlue Park, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and the site for countless other PG events. A huge success, PG has plans to expand the festival next year to include three tournaments with additional age groups. 

For more information about Perfect Game, please visit PerfectGame.org.

ABOUT PERFECT GAME

Recognized as the world leader in holding high level events, Perfect Game holds well over 100 showcase events each year in all parts of the nation. The PG National Showcase is the premier event each year and is held at JetBlue Ballpark in Fort Myers, Fla. The players attending the PG National have enjoyed unprecedented results. Close to 85% of the players end up signing with the top conferences and top programs in the country. The National has also seen more draft picks and first round draft picks than any other individual event in baseball over the past seven years. Perfect Game is proud to have assisted in the development of more than 900 MLB players and tens of thousands college committed athletes since it was founded in 1995. Visit perfectgame.org for more information about the organization and its events. 

SPIRIT OF CHILDREN PROGRAM RETURNS TO GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - Funds Raised Will Provide Critical Funding to Local Child Life Programs

9/20/2016

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is pleased to announce Spirit Halloween stores in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and Port Charlotte will once again support pediatric hospital care by providing a 10% discount to customers and donating 10% of sales to the children’s hospital now through Oct. 31.  

Customers across southwest Florida are encouraged to print their coupon before shopping for Halloween by visiting Leememorial.org/foundation/spirit. Customers will save 10% off their total purchase and Spirit Halloween will match that amount with a donation to Golisano Children’s Hospital.

"We're excited Spirit Halloween will once again support Golisano Children's Hospital and our young patients with important services through our Child Life department,” commented Skip Leonard, chief foundation officer, Lee Memorial Health System Foundation. “This is a wonderful way for our community to support southwest Florida's only children's hospital, and at the same time save money while preparing for their families fall traditions." 

Participating Spirit Halloween store locations include: 

Cape Coral: 1810 NE Pine Island Road (Target Center)

Fort Myers: 9360 Dynasty Drive (Next to Forum Target)

Naples: 950 Immokalee Road (Former Walgreens)

Port Charlotte: 2150 Tamiami Trail (Next to Charlotte Square Walmart)

Since 2006, Spirit Halloween has donated over $29 million to Child Life programs across the United States. Last year, the campaign raised more than $27,000 for the local program at Golisano Children's Hospital. Spirit Halloween will sponsor a Halloween party, complete with costumes, games, crafts and more for patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital later this month.

For more information about the Spirit of Children program, please visit SpiritHalloween.com or contact Lee Memorial Health System Foundation at (239) 343-6950. 

PHOTOS CAPTURE FAMILY MOMENTS AND SUPPORT KIDS WITH CANCER - Heaven’s Eye Photo Shoots Will Benefit Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Cancer Fund

9/01/2016

Capture your family’s most precious moments this fall while supporting kids with cancer in Southwest Florida. Teresa Rivera, owner and operator of Heaven’s Eye Photography is generously donating half of all money received from photo sessions taking place Sept. 1, 2016 through Nov. 30, 2016 to Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. 

For more information or to schedule a session, please call (239) 896-5545 or visit HeavensEyePhotography.Zenfolio.com.

NATIONALLY BROADCAST SELECT BASEBALL FESTIVAL TO BE HELD AT JETBLUE PARK - Labor Day Weekend Event Will Benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

8/29/2016

The Perfect Game (PG) Select Baseball Festival will be held this Labor Day weekend at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. The event takes place over the course of the weekend, showcasing 40 of the best 14u youth baseball players in North America who have been hand selected by Perfect Game to participate based on prior performances at other PG 14 youth venues. These young athletes will take part in both player testing and skills contests with the crowning event being a one game exhibition Sunday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. 

Perfect Game announced earlier this summer that Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida was selected as its beneficiary partner for the festival. Golisano Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami, and it provides vital healthcare for the region’s sick and injured children and their families, from infancy through age 18. The southwest Florida community is invited to come out to the ball game while supporting its only local children’s hospital. Each of the 40 players participating is also raising funds to contribute to the festival’s fundraising goals. Support the players, and in turn, countless other children and families by making a donation today at PerfectGame.org/Tickets. 

“The missions of Perfect Game and Golisano Children’s Hospital align with a focus on our youth and their families,” commented Skip Leonard, Chief Foundation Officer of Lee Memorial Health System Foundation. “Perfect Game has provided support for thousands of aspiring youth athletes to achieve their dreams, and we are very grateful to be the chosen beneficiary of this year’s event.”

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by visiting PerfectGame.org/Tickets. The game exhibition will be streamed on MLB.com and broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports from JetBlue Park, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox which also serves as the site for countless other PG events including the annual Junior National and National Showcases each June. For more information, please visit PerfectGame.org.

ABOUT PERFECT GAME

Recognized as the world leader in holding high level events, Perfect Game holds well over 100 showcase events each year in all parts of the nation. The PG National Showcase is the premier event each year and is held at JetBlue Ballpark in Fort Myers, Fla. The players attending the PG National have enjoyed unprecedented results. Close to 85% of the players end up signing with the top conferences and top programs in the country. The National has also seen more draft picks and first round draft picks than any other individual event in baseball over the past seven years. Perfect Game is proud to have assisted in the development of more than 900 MLB players and tens of thousands college committed athletes since it was founded in 1995. Visit perfectgame.org for more information about the organization and its events. 

13TH ANNUAL CELEBRITY CHEF NIGHT RAISES MORE THAN $153K

8/29/2016

The 13th Annual Rumrunners Celebrity Chef Night held on Aug. 17 was a success, raising more than $153K for Barbara’s Friends - Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund.

With 260 people in attendance, the culinary event at Rumrunners in Cape Coral featured live and silent auctions, a champagne toast with exciting drawings, as well as cocktails and cuisine from 6 local celebrity chefs from Rumrunners, Harold’s, Norman Love Confections, Crave Culinaire, Bay Colony Golf Club, Trabue. The highest-bids of the evening included $9K for four VIP tickets to see AC/DC at one of their final tour concerts and two $8K bids for Rumrunners private dinner for eight. 

Since 2003, the Celebrity Chef Night event has raised more than $1 million for Barbara’s Friends - Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. Lee Memorial Health System Foundation thanks this year’s major sponsors: Century 21 Sunbelt, LeeSar, Texas Roadhouse, Custom Packaging and Products, Private Client Insurance Services, Stevens Construction, and Jason’s Deli. 

For more information about the annual Celebrity Chef Night, Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, Barbara’s Friends or Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, please call (239) 343-6950 or visit LeeMemorial.org/Foundation.

New Ambulance Joins Fleet at Golisano Children’s Hospital - Funding provided by SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.

8/24/2016

A new, state-of-the-art virtual intensive care unit on wheels is rolling across Southwest Florida safely transporting newborns and older children to and from Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The new ambulance, funded by SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc., is slightly smaller than its predecessor (a 1999 ambulance that was recently retired), and more fuel efficient. A distinct feature of the new addition to the fleet is a ‘power load’ stretcher system, which eliminates physically lifting the stretcher to load it into the ambulance. 

The new ambulance is equipped with the latest neonatal equipment and technology and a highly-trained transport team to ensure the highest skill and quality of care while moving children to a higher level of care.  All of the equipment is sized for infants and older children, including a ventilator, nasal cannulas and masks, and includes the capability of monitoring invasive blood pressure when needed during transport.

“Having the proper equipment en route to Golisano Children’s Hospital is critical, as seconds count in reducing injury and death to high-risk infants,” says Kathy Bridge-Liles, chief administrative officer for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. “With our fleet of ambulances we are able to immediately administer oxygen and medication and take pre-emptive measures to reduce brain damage and physical and mental disabilities in high-risk infants. Put simply, the ambulances save lives”.

Passengers are welcomed by a whimsical motif inside the ambulance, complete with a painted ‘sky’ overhead. iPads, a DVD player, music, coloring books, PlayDoh, and even rattles for babies, are onboard for the pleasure of passengers during their ride.

Last year, the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida ambulance fleet transported more than 1,300 newborns and children to receive specialized care and life-saving treatment. 

PRE-REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON FOR FIRST ANNUAL MOOSE GOLF TOURNAMENT Event to be Held Aug. 27 Benefitting Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

8/18/2016

Pre-registration for the Fort Myers Lodge 1899 First Annual Moose Golf Tournament will close Saturday, Aug. 20. Pre-registration for the tournament is $45 per participant and is open to all golfers. Those interested are welcome to register as an individual or team.

The tournament will be held on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Shell Point Golf Club located at 17401 On Par Boulevard in Fort Myers. Participants will have a chance to win prizes including a Club Gold Cart for the first hole in one. Following the tournament, participants are invited back to the Fort Myers Lodge 1899 for a luncheon including a 50/50 drawing and live entertainment by Robert Johnson. 

To register for the Moose Golf Tournament, please visit the Fort Myers Lodge 1899 located at 9171 College Parkway or call (239) 961-5357 for more information. For more ways to support Lee Memorial Health System and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, please call (239) 343-6950 or visit LeeMemorial.org/Foundation.