Making the Patients of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital her Grandchildren


Rita Auerbach Wallach was born in the Borough of the Bronx, New York and moved with her family at a young age to Miami where she attended the University of Miami. She was a woman who loved her family, music, the arts and education. She possessed great talent, warmth and a good sense of humor. Mrs. Wallach had a son and daughter, who sadly pre-deceased her and her greatest dream of having grandchildren was never realized. 

When Mrs. Wallach established her trust and will, she left everything equally to five organizations; four she had direct ties with over the years, and the fifth, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, she picked for a very special reason. She determined that if she was not herself blessed with grandchildren, she could show her love and concern for children by leaving Nicklaus Children’s Hospital an unrestricted, $2.5 million gift.

On August 23, 2017, a dedication ceremony was held to name the main lobby of our newest building “The Rita Auerbach Wallach Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion Lobby,” and was unveiled by devoted friends Ralph Arias and Jesus Romero.  Michael Harrington, President & COO of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and Tim Birkenstock, CFO of the Miami Children’s Health System and Interim President & CEO of MCH Foundation, welcomed family and guests, and shared remarks honoring Mrs. Wallach and her generosity.  Mr. Birkenstock emphasized the importance of planned gifts like Mrs. Wallach’s to the future of the hospital and our mission. Honoring her love of music, a duet of graduate students performed a selection of classical string works. 

A memorable moment was created as two small patients wandered into the reception and quietly listened to the music which was an affirmation of the purpose and lasting impression of the legacy gift from Rita Auerbach Wallach. Symbolically these were the first two of her many future grandchildren.