Noah's Concert for the Kids was not only an opportunity for the island to hear a classical performance by a local prodigy at BIG ARTS, but also for Sanibel-Captiva Cares to raise funds for the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.
A prodigy on the piano, 12-year-old Noah Waddell only started learning to play at the age of 7 but today performs at many venues including the Longboat Key Island Chapel, the Sugden Theatre in Naples, and the Steinway Gallery in Miami. Most islanders have heard Waddell volunteering his talents inside the atrium in the HealthPark Medical Center through "The Arts in Healthcare Program."
Waddell played a number of famous musical selections for his Nov. 2 concert in the Schein Performance Hall, including works by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, and Felix Mendelssohn.
12-year-old Noah Waddell played in the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Nov. 2. Mckenzie Cassidy.
Richard Johnson, the general manager at Bailey's, hosted the evening for a nearly sold out crowd. The general store had also signed on as one of the Virtuoso Sponsors.
"This young man is just an outstanding performer and I'm looking forward to hearing him," said Johnson.
Proceeds from the concert were donated to the children's hospital through Sanibel-Captiva Cares, which is raising $100 million to build a new, two-story Golisano Children's Hospital facility on the corner of Summerlin and Bass Roads, next to the HealthPark Medical Center.
Kathy Bridge-Liles, the recently named Chief Administrative Officer for the children's hospital, said she was honored to be seeing Waddell in concert because he has been performing in the atrium for the last two years and patients enjoy listening to his calming recitals.
The new children's facility will include a pediatric emergency department and ambulance services for pediatric and neonatal patients, said Bridge-Liles, because the challenge has been providing enough space as more families move to the area. Twenty percent of local children already leave Southwest Florida every year to receive treatment at other hospitals because there aren't enough rooms.
Amanda Cross, one of the founding members of Sanibel-Captiva Cares, thanked John R. Wood Island Real Estate for organizing the concert and raising funds for the children's hospital. One of the founding principals of John R. Wood is giving back to the community, so much so that a portion of all transactions benefit charities.
Each of the speakers also discussed Waddell's talent and how the 12-year-old prodigy enjoys tennis, fishing, hiking, and pickle ball, like any other boy his age.
13-year-old Miguel Hodge came to the concert with his parents Mitch and Susan. The family has seen Waddell perform in the past and always enjoyed his show.
"They have played tennis together and been friends for a long time," said Mitch Hodge, explaining how Miguel came to support his friend.
For more information on Noah Waddell, visit noahwaddell.com.