The islands gathered at BIG ARTS for an elegant evening of music Saturday, November 2nd at Noah’s Concert for the Kids. The star of the evening was local 12 year-old, Noah Waddell, performing the concert to benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The nearly sold-out event raised approximately $30,000.
Noah’s dynamic performance held guests spellbound. In his white tuxedo, Noah treated hospital representatives, event sponsors, and attendees to classical selections from Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Liszt. Local restaurants catered the event by donating beautiful and delicious desserts, including Cip’s Place, Sweet Melissa’s, Doc Ford’s, and Traders Café. Joe and Linda Mondelli of John R. Wood Island Real Estate, master sponsor of the event, provided beverages.
Don Rice, president of BIG ARTS, said, “Noah and the event volunteers knocked it out of the park Saturday night. This will be a most remembered event of BIG ARTS season.” He and his wife, Joyce, were one of the many island sponsors for the event, including City Manager, Judie Zimomra, Councilman, Marty Harrity, and many other local businesses and private individuals.
Richard Johnson of Bailey’s General Store took the stage as the emcee for the event. He and his wife, Mead, were Virtuoso sponsors of the evening, along with Jason and Sherry Huff of Huff Insurance, Julie and Tim O’Neill, and Amanda Cross. Ms. Cross is one of the founding members of Sanibel-Captiva Cares, the organization founded by a group of island mothers that has focused on fundraising for the Golisano Children’s Hospital since 2000. They have raised over $5 million for the hospital since then.
Amanda Cross had the privilege of publicly introducing Kathy Bridge-Liles, Chief Administrative Officer of the Golisano Children’s Hospital. Kathy began working as a nurse 20 years ago, but most recently served as the Interim Head of the Children’s Hospital. She had just been named to the permanent position earlier that week. Other hospital staff in attendance were Susan Ryckman, Interim VP Patient Care Services and Dr. Emad Salman, Medical Director of Golisano Children’s Hospital. The hospital is quite familiar with Noah, who voluntarily plays every Friday afternoon in the atrium at the HealthPark facility for their Arts in Healthcare Program.
The new $100 million Golisano Children’s Hospital facility at HealthPark Medical Center on the corner of Summerlin and Bass Roads will provide better specialized care needed to save the tiniest lives in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or help a child win a battle with cancer. Their team of physicians, nurses, volunteers and clinicians stands ready, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to help make miracles happen. Each year, twenty percent of area children have to leave Southwest Florida to receive treatment at other hospitals because the hospital doesn’t have enough rooms. The new facility provides those rooms, a pediatric emergency department, and other specialized pediatric equipment.
Individuals, businesses, and fund-raising organizations across Southwest Florida are joining them in their efforts, including Sanibel-Captiva Cares, which has committed to raising $10 million on the islands to help build the new children’s hospital facility. The sponsorships and funds from Saturday’s concert, hosted by John R. Wood Island Real Estate as master sponsor, supports Sanibel-Captiva Cares in this endeavor. John R. Wood owners and their agents already support Sanibel-Captiva Cares with matching donations from every transaction. In addition, several agents and staff contributed individual sponsorships for Saturday’s concert. “One of our founding principles is giving back to our community,” says owner, Joe Mondelli. “The concert was a success on every level – a great performance, more awareness of the need for the children’s hospital, the community coming together, and incredible financial support for the Golisano Children’s Hospital.”