December 8, 2020  – Last week, a generous South Florida community came together to help raise $800,000 (and counting!) to benefit the Nicklaus Children’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. The support came through the first ever Virtual Diamond Ball, An Auction Benefiting Nicklaus Children’s Hospital sponsored by City National Bank of Florida. The critical funds raised will help shore up supplies, provide testing, and ensure Nicklaus Children’s has the staff and services needed to respond for the duration of the pandemic. 
 
Now in its 14th year, the signature Nicklaus Children’s Diamond Ball gala was adapted to an online format to ensure everyone’s health and safety during the pandemic. Co-hosted by auctioneers Jason Alpert and Geoff Cowan, the virtual event auctioned off one-of-a-kind experiences, in addition to featuring patient success stories, a tribute to Nicklaus Children’s healthcare heroes, and more. The event was preceded by a two-week online silent auction of more than 100 items.
 
“We are grateful for South Florida’s support in a time of need for our community, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the children and families we are privileged to serve,” said Matthew Love, President and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. “The funds we raised together during our first ever virtual fundraiser will help us ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and families as we continue to confront this pandemic head on.”
 
Since March, Nicklaus Children’s has faced an additional $3 million in supply, testing and workforce-related costs due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the hospital has experienced millions of dollars in lost revenue due to lower patient volumes and interruptions in elective surgeries, appointments and routine care. 
 
“We couldn’t do our work without the support of generous people in our community who are passionate about kids and their journey to a healthy, happy life,” said Michelle Boggs, President of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Kids’ needs don’t stop in a global pandemic, and the success of the Virtual Diamond Ball has shown us that the community stands by us through it all.”
 
The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of City National Bank of Florida, Ensemble Health Partners, CVS Pharmacy y más / Navarro Discount Pharmacy, Greenberg Traurig, Mario Murgado & Murgado Automotive Group, MBF Healthcare Partners, Perry Ellis International, Baptist Health, Braman BMW, Duty Free Americas, Falk, Waas, Hernandez, Solomon, Mendlestein & Davis, P.A.; Pediatrix Medical Group, Polsinelli, Priority Payment Systems Local, Prudential Retirement, Robins & Morton, The Hometown Foundation Inc., American Airlines, EY, PNC Bank, Polen Capital, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and WLRN Public Media.
 
 
 
 
 
About Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with nearly 800 attending physicians and more than 475 pediatric subspecialists. The 309-bed hospital, known as Miami Children’s Hospital from 1983 through 2014, is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with many specialty programs routinely ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report since 2008. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern 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 Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation:
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to support the delivery of and access to world-class healthcare at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, South Florida’s only freestanding children’s hospital. Founded in 1982 as Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation was the vision of Ambassador David M. Walters who, after losing his 6-year-old granddaughter to leukemia in 1970 due to lack of medical resources, vowed no child would ever have to leave South Florida for healthcare. Today, alongside major benefactors Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation is dedicated to raising critical funds for patients and families served at the 309-bed flagship facility and its network of outpatient centers, extending from southern Miami-Dade to Martin County. For more information, visit https://give.nicklauschildrens.org.