This spring, the 2004 and 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox lent their time and talents to raise awareness and funds for The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. The Boston Red Sox Children's Hospital Celebrity Classic takes place each year on the championship golf courses of the Forest Country Club.
The evening prior to the classic, the Boston Red Sox Children’s Hospital “Tee Party” is held for golfers and their guests and also takes place at the Forest Country Club.
In addition, each March, City of Palms Park has been the setting for The Boston Red Sox Children’s Hospital Diamond Dinner, presented this year by Outback Steakhouse of Fort Myers. Chairman of the three events was Forest Country Club resident Ron McEwan. Honorary Chairman was Boston Red Sox pitcher and fan-favorite Tim Wakefield.
All funds raised by the events were matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous philanthropist and long-time Boston Red Sox fan, said Pat Dolce, public affairs specialist with Lee Memorial Health System.
The events combined to raise more than $700,000 to support an expansion of The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The new expanded facility will provide life-saving care to children in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties and will provide additional specialty services to meet the increasing pediatric health care needs of our community.
Boston Red Sox players hitting the links this year in support of the cause included Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jason Varitek, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Hideki Okajima. Manager Terry Francona and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice also came out to support the cause as did Boston Red Sox legend Luis Tiant.
This year’s event MVP (Most Valuable Patient) was six-year old Joseph West of Naples. Joseph, who is currently being treated by the hematology/oncology team at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, had an opportunity to meet many of his baseball heroes and have his Boston Red Sox jersey autographed by the stars.
For more information on opportunities to support the life-saving care provided by The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida through The Boston Red Sox Celebrity Event Series, email BostonGolf@lLeeMemorial.org or call the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation at 239-343-6950.