For 13 years now Sanibel-Captiva Cares has been on a mission to help build the new Golisano Children's Hospital at Lee Memorial HealthPark through its fundraising efforts on the islands.
The number 13 was anything but unlucky, as Sunday night (April 7) the group more than doubled its previous year's record contribution, raising $1.3 million for the capital building campaign at its annual Island Celebration at The Sanctuary Club.
Silent and live auctions were conducted with Sanibel City Councilman Marty "Leprechaun" Harrity serving as auctioneer.
CAROL ORR HARTMAN
The party ended with a bang while Holly Smith, Mike Mullins, Marty Harrity, Jim Nathan and Cannella Mullins danced a jig.
Contributions to Golisano Children's Hospital at HealthPark through SanCap Cares now stands at a 13-year total of more than $5 million.
Reasons for the significant increase in contributions this year lends one to speculate about the combination of publicity and the committee members' collective effort over the last 13 years. Also, the project is getting ever closer to becoming a reality with the start of construction anticipated this fall.
A few "lucky" patrons won trips and other prizes, including a trip to a French Chateau, New York's Broadway, a Taylor Swift concert in Los Angeles, a membership to South Seas Resort, jewelry from Congress Jewelers, an original "Captiva Cares" piece by Darryl Pottorf, and "Name That Drink" from Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille.
Two generous patrons spontaneously shared the cost of te purchasing a new pediatric ambulance for the facility at a cost of more than $100,000 in addition to the overall group putting up enough for a second ambulance.
Kiwanis Club of Sanibel and Captiva members donated more than $101,000 to the campaign and one islander, who wished to remain anonymous, pledged another $200,000.
As with all contributions to the hospital campaign, the $1.3 million from SanCap Cares doubled to $2.6 million through the $20 million matching grant challenge offered by B. Thomas Golisano, whose generosity was celebrated recently when the hospital was named in his honor.
"We all know the phrase 'it's better to give than to receive,' but the generosity of our islands gives new meaning to this phrase," honorary co-chairman Michael Mullins said in a prepared statement. "We couldn't have been prouder of our involvement."
Lee Memorial CEO Jim Nathan attended the gala and shared the expansion plans for additional beds for the state-of-the-art facility. He also thanked Al Hanser, CEO of Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, for 10 years as master sponsor of the Sanibel Captiva Cares.