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Kids’ Minds Matter annual gala ‘Reflect & Envision’ looks ahead to increased access to mental health services

Jason Sabo shares what the Lee Health pediatric outpatient behavioral health clinic needs during special event with mental health colleagues and former patient

The 7th Annual Kids’ Minds Matter Signature Event: Reflect & Envision took place March 8 at the Innovation Hotel in Naples. The event inspired long-time supporters as well as significant contributions from new donors to raise more than $800,000.

“A kaleidoscope metaphor is how we can view the landscape of mental healthcare for children in Southwest Florida, especially prior to the Kids’ Minds Matter infusion. A fractured landscape, individually valuable but disconnected. Some pieces but not nearly enough. And no light available for them to shine through,” Chris Simoneau, chief development, marketing and communications officer for Lee Health. “However, with Kids’ Minds Matter, we have assembled these pieces together. We have brought new pieces to the table. Philanthropy and the vision for Kids’ Minds Matter has shone light on the needs of the community, weaving beautiful light into the broken pieces of the mental health landscape. Your generosity has brought beauty where once there was just fragments.”

At the event, founders of Kids’ Minds Matter, Susan Goldy and Scott Spiezle, announced that they were donating $250,000 to establish an endowment for Kids’ Minds Matter and to inspire new leadership to drive the initiative forward. While the couple will still be involved, they will be stepping back from their leadership roles to spend more time with family in South Carolina.

“To generate resources to benefit children throughout the community, we need to think not just about today, but ensuring that Kids’ Minds Matter and pediatric mental health care is supported long into the future,” Goldy said. “As the founders, we want you all to know that the legacy of Kids’ Minds Matter will be one of our greatest achievements, so we will be personally contributing to starting this endowment, and we hope that you will join us either in the endowment or through an outright gift.”

Goldy and Spiezle were also awarded the Courtnage Courage in the Community Award. The award was created in honor of Larry and Kathy Courtnage, early investors in Kids’ Minds Matter, and recognizes a member of the community who has overcome odds to positively affect others.

Kids’ Minds Matter, an initiative of Lee Health and Golisano Children’s Hospital, is focused on raising awareness and funds to ensure children receive the right care at the right place and time, making the full continuum of mental and behavioral health services available. These vital funds will fuel programs to expand access to pediatric mental health support in Lee, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Charlotte Counties.

Sponsors of the event included presenting sponsor FineMark National Bank & Trust; Leading sponsors Audi Fort Myers and Audi Naples, Cushman Wakefield, Fountain 33 Foundation, Jill Kushner, LeeSar Cooperative Services of Florida Inc., RMC Group, Scotlynn, Stock Development, The Kim Foundation. Special thank you to J.P. Morgan and Rick Gallo Auctioneer.

On April 3, Kids’ Minds Matter is sponsoring a free inaugural community luncheon to celebrate what Kids’ Minds Matter has accomplished and learn about additional opportunities to support pediatric mental health in Southwest Florida. The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Arthrex One Conference Center in Naples. For information about that event, visit kidsmindsmatter.com/kaleidoscope/

To learn more about Kids’ Minds Matter, get resources for help or to become an advocate, visit KidsMindsMatter.com.

About Kids’ Minds Matter

Founded in 2016 by Susan Goldy and Scott Spiezle, Kids’ Minds Matter is a unified movement in Southwest Florida dedicated to advancing pediatric mental and behavioral health services. By developing clinical pathways to screen and treat patients, enhancing public awareness through education, and lobbying for systemic change and sustainable funding, Kids’ Minds Matter aims to align mental health providers, local agencies, the judicial system, law enforcement, schools and faith-based organizations. Kids’ Minds Matter is managed through the Lee Health Foundation. Please visit KidsMindsMatter.com or call 239-343-6950 for more information.

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