Noah Waddell, a musical prodigy, started playing the piano only five years ago.
On Nov. 2, the 12-year-old will perform at "Noah's Concert for the Kids" in the BIG ARTS Performance Hall to benefit the Capital Campaign for the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida.
John R. Wood Island Real Estate, a master sponsor of the event, organized the concert to help Sanibel-Captiva Cares raise $10 million for the children's hospital. For the last 13 years, Sanibel-Captiva Cares has hosted annual fundraising events at The Sanctuary to benefit the children's hospital.
Joe Mondelli, president of John R. Wood Island Real Estate, has known Waddell since the child was 6 and decided to approach him about performing to raise money for a good cause.
"I've known him all these years," said Mondelli. "He is a great kid."
With support from his parents Barry and Anita, Waddell has been performing at various fundraisers and in the main lobby of HealthPark, as part of the "Arts in Healthcare" program.
"I like to use my gifts to help other people," said Waddell, in a recorded interview. "I wish that they get better so they can use their talents."
Since 2000, Mondelli and his wife Linda have been supporters of the children's hospital and Sanibel Captiva Cares, which has raised millions of dollars for the hospital. In 2006, John R. Wood selected Sanibel Captiva Cares as a major recipient of donations.
"Every agent that works here for us, when they have a transaction, they make a donation every time," said Mondelli. "It's agreed upon and part of our policy. My partner and I match that contribution and send it to the children's hospital through Sanibel Captiva Cares."
Fundraising events for the hospital are a success every year. Organizers of "Noah's Concert for the Kids" are now trying to engage the business community to increase the number of sponsorships. Available sponsorships include $1,000 for the Virtuoso, including four reserved seats; $500 for the Concerto, including two reserved seats; and $250 for the Sonata, including one reserved seat. All sponsorships include a listing in the program.
"We want to engage more of the businesses and residents in an event that showcases a local Sanibel Island talent," said Mondelli.
The event emcee will be Richard Johnson from Bailey's General Store, which has signed on as a sponsor.
Johnson and his wife Mead, supporters of the children's hospital, signed on as Virtuoso sponsors at the $1,000 level to carry on the family's commitment to being good members of the community.
Eli Mahshie, Chris DeCosta, and Jason Holtz of Holtz, Mahshie, and DeCosta, Attorneys at Law, also joined other local businesses in supporting the concert by signing up for a Concerto sponsorship at the $500 level.
Visit noahsconcert.com to watch a video with a special message from Noah Waddell.
Sponsorships are still being accepted before the concert in three weeks. For event information or sponsorships, contact Joe Mondelli at 472-2411 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. John R. Wood Island Real Estate is at 1019 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island. Tickets are for sale at the BIG ARTS box office.