CEO makes announcement regarding the future of Miami Children’s Health Foundation

MIAMI, FL (October 23, 2017)– On Saturday, October 21 Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation) held its annual Diamond Ball. Over 600 of South Florida’s most philanthropic community members raised $2.8 million to benefit the children and families cared for at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

This year, world-renowned photographer, Anne Geddes, and highly successful racecar driver, Hélio Castroneves, were inducted into the Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed by MCH Foundation. The honorees were recognized for their lifelong commitment to ensuring the health and wellbeing of children around the world. Geddes and Castroneves both expressed their appreciation to MCH Foundation and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

“I was so honored to be part of this year’s Diamond Ball,” said Geddes. “Every day, I get to capture moving and precious images of children. I see their beauty and innocence, and I feel it is important that every child has access to excellent medical care.”

“Being part of the 2017 Diamond Ball was a very moving experience, and I was humbled to be inducted into the David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame,” added Castroneves. “As a racecar driver, I must always be at my best in order to succeed, and I believe children can only succeed if they have the best possible care.”

This year’s Diamond Ball kicked off with an opening act performance by Sydney Harcourt, one of the stars from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. The event’s Master of Ceremonies, award-winning journalist, Beatriz Canals, then welcomed the night’s special guests, including celebrities and dignitaries like Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, actor Cristian de la Fuente, Angelica Castro, and Federico Diaz.

Ravneet Chowdhury, Chair of the Foundation Board, then took to the stage to announce a generous one million dollar donation to MCH Foundation, seconded by a surprise donation of half a million dollars by her husband Anand Chowdhury. That was not the evening’s only big news. Dr. Narendra Kini, CEO of Miami Children’s Health System announced the change of the name of the organization to Nicklaus Children’s Health System, honoring the first family of golf Jack and Barbara Nicklaus.

“Our vision has always been to be where the children; changing our name will allow us to align our growth to the needs of children everywhere,” said Dr. Kini. “We are already helping children at a global level and hope to continue doing so because children deserve the best care possible and the chance to have a healthier and happier life.”

MCH Foundation will be renamed Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Guests also heard the emotional and moving story of Victoria Cabrera, a global patient from Venezuela, who received life-saving care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. At age 10, Victoria was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that required immediate surgery. Five months later, it was clear something was very wrong. The young girl continued to lose weight and could not walk far without losing her breath. It became apparent that Victoria would need to leave Venezuela to seek treatment. Victoria was brought to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital where she underwent several heart surgeries. Victoria, who is now 18 and living a normal life, spoke of her deep gratitude toward the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who helped her. “My life has improved 110 percent, and I will be forever grateful to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for saving my life.”

Following her moving address, the guests witnessed an emotional reunion between Victoria and Dr. Robert Hannan, the surgeon who performed the life-saving heart operations.

With emotions running high, a call was made to give generously to MCH Foundation so that other deserving children like Victoria could receive life-saving treatment. The evening ended with the special drawing of a 2018 Audi A5 Coupe, donated by Audi of America and Audi Stuart.

The Diamond Ball Honorary Chairs were Eilah and Ben Beavers, with Co-Chairs Ravneet and Anand Chowdhury, and Stearns Weaver Miller. “This year’s Diamond Ball was a celebration of the incredible work that our doctors and nurses provide our children, and how our community is dedicated to continuing to support such an important mission,” said Ravneet Chowdhury, Chair of the Board of Directors, MCH Foundation.

This year’s Diamond Ball sponsors included: Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Florida; United Healthcare; Polen Capital; ARI Financial Group; Squire Patton Boggs; UBS Financial Services; JW Marriott Marquis Miami; CC Homes; Greenberg Traurig; AB&A Advertising; Duty Free Americas; West Coast University; Dr. and Mrs. Phillip T. George; Mr. and Mrs. Phillip T. George, Jr.; City National Bank; and Robins & Morton.

About Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital – part of Miami Children’s Health System – is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 775 attending physicians and over 200 pediatric subspecialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with several specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017-18 by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in southwestern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit www.nicklauschildrens.org.

About Miami Children's Health Foundation
Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation) is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization established to support the creation of a world-class pediatric hospital so no child needs to leave South Florida for superior medical care. “Funding World-Class Care” and following the principle that all children deserve state-of-the-art pediatric care, MCH Foundation, now a part of the Miami Children’s Health System, has helped the 289-bed Nicklaus Children’s Hospital become a leader in pediatric healthcare with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. Currently, MCH Foundation is dedicating all its resources to Together For The Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s, which aims to raise $150 million by 2017 and help fund priorities such as the expansion of the Emergency Department, construction of a new Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, enhancements to its three centers of excellence, and expanding global/telehealth endeavors. Other campaign priorities include research, pediatric outreach and special programs.