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Partnership between Boston Red Sox and Lee Health Foundation helps raise more than $505,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida raised more than $505,000 at three fundraising events headlined by Boston Red Sox players, coaches and management.

The Red Sox, which have held spring training in Fort Myers since 1993, partnered with the Lee Health Foundation for the 26th annual Boston Red Sox Celebrity Golf Classic, Green Tee Party and Dinner on the Diamond. Each event offered baseball fans the opportunity to meet players from the 2018 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, including MVP Steve Pearce, Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Mitch Moreland, Blake Swihart, Rick Porcello, manager Alex Cora and more.

“The Red Sox have consistently partnered with Golisano Children’s Hospital since the team first moved its spring training to Fort Myers, and we’re incredibly grateful to count on their generous support each spring,” said Chris Simoneau, Lee Health’s chief foundation and development officer. “The millions of dollars we’ve raised over the years at our Red Sox fundraisers have helped treat thousands of sick and injured children right here in Southwest Florida.”

Proceeds from the three events this year will support Kids’ Minds Matter, the hospital’s pediatric mental and behavioral healthcare fund. Kids’ Minds Matter advocates for the more than 46,000 Southwest Florida youth who are struggling with mental and behavioral health disorders like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Funds raised helps align community, inpatient and outpatient care, provide proper screening, hire additional mental health professionals, and train physicians, parents, educators and caregivers.

The Red Sox’ Green Tee Party was held Feb. 18 in the concourse at JetBlue Park and included cocktails, food, entertainment, silent and live auctions, photo ops with Wally the Green Monster and the 2018 World Series trophy, and an autograph session with Swihart.

The Celebrity Golf Classic on Feb. 20 included golfing and mingling with celebrities, as well as skills challenges. Red Sox greats Luis Tiant, Jason Varitek and other alumni joined current players and coaches on the course.

Dinner on the Diamond, held March 19 at JetBlue Park, offered appetizers, drinks, dinner and an auction of autographed baseball merchandise, trips and other fun items. The event’s highlight was a private autograph session with Holt, Moreland and Cora, followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by NESN host Jahmai Webster.

“Between all of the practices, games, training sessions and media obligations, two Red Sox pitchers – Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi – found time to stop by Golisano Children’s Hospital to visit with some of our pediatric patients and sign autographs,” said Armando Llechu, the hospital’s chief administrative officer. “It is amazing to see how much their presence in the hospital boosts the spirits of children and their families, and it’s something they’ll certainly remember for years to come.”

Sponsors for the fundraising events included the Boston Red Sox, Robert E. Schneider Foundation, Extreme Disposal, Extreme Painting & Contracting, The Forest Country Club, WebTPA, The Salty Crab Bar & Grill, Blais Family, Chick-fil-A, Florida Radiology Consultants, Yawkey Foundations and PricewaterhouseCoopers, along with the Mrs. Bunny Family Foundation, Herman & Irene Gertz Foundation, B & I Contractors, DeAngelis Diamond, USI Insurance Services and Transamerica Retirement Solutions.

For more information about the Lee Health Foundation’s fundraising events, please visit LeeHealthFoundation.org or call 239-343-6950.

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 healthcare 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.

About Golisano Children’s Hospital

Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” by The Leapfrog Group for the past three years. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 128-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 64 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.

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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