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MarineMax Yacht Gala raises more than $200,000 to provide critical care at Golisano Children’s Hospital

MarineMax GalaThe fourth annual MarineMax Yacht Gala, held Jan. 25 in Fort Myers, raised more than $200,000 to support lifesaving medical treatments and services at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

With a theme of “An Evening under the Stars,” guests enjoyed a waterfront cocktail hour at sunset and leisurely strolls aboard a selection of premier, multimillion-dollar yachts before gathering for a spectacular dinner. Ryan West, principal and general manager of MarineMax Fort Myers, introduced keynote speaker Armando Llechu, chief administrative officer at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Following Llechu’s passionate speech thanking supporters for contributions that save the lives of local children, a silent auction helped push fundraising totals to new heights. Live auction items included an electric guitar signed by Paul McCartney, a Fender electric guitar signed by David Bowie and a limited-edition autographed Beatles “Abbey Road” album. Also up for bidding was a lunchtime cruise for three couples around Useppa Island with AC/DC’s Cliff Williams, a five-course dinner for eight, a daylong fishing excursion for four, a pig roast for 100 guests, exclusive access for a weeklong rental of a four-bedroom beach house on North Captiva, a sunset cruise for 10 aboard a MarineMax yacht and a luxury weekend getaway at South Seas Island Resort.

Emceed by ABC7 morning co-anchors Jen Stacy and Greg Parker, the gala featured additional items available through a silent auction. A special Fund-a-Need collection generated donations for Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Little Red Wagon Fund, which supports Southwest Florida’s most critical pediatric health care needs.

“The level of community support received by Golisano Children’s Hospital is unprecedented,” Llechu said. “It took an entire community of generous residents, businesses and organizations to build our new hospital, and those same philanthropic-minded individuals continue to step forward so local children and families have access to world-class health care right here in town.”

A portion of proceeds will support Kids’ Minds Matter, the mental and behavioral health fund of Golisano Children’s Hospital. Donations will help increase access to care, proper screening for youth and training for physicians, parents, educators and caregivers.

MarineMax Yacht Gala sponsors included ABC7, Artichoke & Company, Backwater Marine & Yacht Brokerage, Blu Sushi, Blue Coyote Supper Club, Bonefish Grill, Bradford Portraits, Captain Jerry Orlandini, Cary and Melissa Carter, Catering by Leslie Adams, Cibo, Cliff Williams, Cornell Balancing Company, Daniel Wolfe, Dave and Cheryl Copham, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Five Star Limousine, Friendly Faces, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Hair by Sharon B, Jaguar/Land Rover of Fort Myers, Joe and Terri Bryan, John Leddy, Lisa London Events, MarineMax Fort Myers, Maui Jim, Moxie Salon & Spa, Nevermind Awesome Bar & Eatery, Phelan Family Brands, Photo Magic Events, Poppy’s Pizza & Pub, Prawnbroker, Preppy in Paradise, Rick and Janice Atkinson, South Seas Island Resort, Southwest Airlines, Southwest Florida Neurological & Rehab Associates, Taylor Rental and Creative Events, The Comrie Cancer Foundation, The Kaiser Family Foundation Corporation, The Vine, Tom and Linda Crider, University Grill, Useppa Island Club and Webster’s Grill.

For more information about upcoming fundraising events, please visit LeeHealthFoundation.org or call 239-343-6950.

About Lee Health Foundation

Lee Health Foundation raises philanthropic dollars on behalf of Lee Health, including Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center, Lee Memorial Hospital and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The Foundation provides financial support for many service areas including the Regional Cancer Center, Lee Health – Coconut Point, The Rehabilitation Hospital, Shipley Cardiothoracic Center, Community Health Clinics and Golisano Children’s Hospital Specialty Clinics in both Port Charlotte and Naples. Over the past two years, the Foundation has distributed more than $53 million to Lee Health to support its lifesaving mission. Please visit LeeHealthFoundation.org or call (239) 343-6950 for more information.

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