Annual Report

A Message from Foundation President

It was because of you, our generous supporters, that Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation had a remarkable 2019. As a community, we upheld a shared vision to be where the children are and continued to garner greater advocacy and philanthropic support. We raised record funds to support the hospital and helped more patients receive the care they needed to lead healthier lives.

Together, we set a record-breaking year for our foundation, raising nearly $2 million at the annual Diamond Ball gala in support of mental health initiatives for patients at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. In addition to the Diamond Ball, other successful fundraisers throughout the year helped us raise funds for many areas of the hospital, from ophthalmology to bereavement services and housing for patient families. We were grateful to also receive a number of generous gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations that will transform how care is delivered and accessed at Nicklaus Children’s next year and beyond.

In total, we raised nearly $22.5 million in 2019 to support the children and families who turn to us during their most difficult time. This represents more than a 50 percent increase in funds raised over the previous year, and we thank you for your continued support of our work to inspire hope and promote lifelong health by providing the best care to every child.

As we continue providing care for one of the most underserved and underinsured populations in Florida, this private support goes a long way to help those with the most need. The future is bright for Nicklaus Children’s, as we are reminded of the inspiring stories of Mariah, Alanis and Joshua, just a few of our patients who have overcome great odds to now be on the path to health and healing. With friends like you, we will continue to strengthen and grow our legacy as the region’s leading pediatric care provider for years to come.

Thank you for being our partner!

Michelle Boggs signature

Michelle Boggs
President, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation




Record $2 Million Raised for Pediatric Mental Health at 13th Annual Diamond Ball Gala

Diamond Ball 2019 wide shot of roomAlmost 700 guests gathered for the 13th Annual Diamond Ball on October 19, where nearly $2 million was raised to benefit the patients and families at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. The gala was chaired by community pillars Juliana and Alex Krys, and honored philanthropist Michael Fux for his commendable work helping underserved children in South Florida.

The funds raised that evening are being used to support mental health programs for children like Mariah who, thanks to dedicated healthcare workers at Nicklaus Children’s, was able to receive critical support to help fight mental health challenges.
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Nicklaus Children’s Young Ambassadors Funding Supports Seven Projects

The group of young, passionate South Florida professionals who comprise Nicklaus Children’s Young Ambassadors (NCYA) had a banner year in 2019, raising $271,275 for the hospital.

The group’s largest fundraiser of the year, the 8th Annual Fashion Gives Back, was a resounding success with funds supporting rehabilitation equipment and training that helps patients like Gianna.

NCYA also raised funds that will support ophthalmology services and outreach, the VACC Camp and Camp Roaring Sun, the Go Green Initiative, housing for patient families and bereavement support through Nico’s Promise.

Nico’s Promise Raises $250,000 to Support Grieving Families

Nico’s Promise: A Journey of Hope and Healing hosted its 5th annual fashion show titled "Siempre" in the fall. Nearly 500 guests and sponsors helped raise $249,646 to benefit the bereavement program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Over the past seven years, Nico’s Promise has served 1,400 families who have suffered the loss of a child, from providing countless group sessions to coordinating annual celebrations of life.


Transformational Gifts


Mobile Dental Unit Brings Healthy Smiles to Community

For the third year, the Nicklaus Children’s Mobile Dental Unit brought free dentistry services to the most underserved children in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and most recently adding service in Palm Beach County.
In all, 20,000 dental services have been provided and more than 5,000 children have been served through the mobile dental unit. Our medical team provides free oral health screenings, assessments, oral hygiene education and a full-range of dental treatments.

The mobile dental unit is supported by The Honda Classic Cares, using proceeds from The Honda Classic, a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour. Since 2016, proceeds from The Honda Classic also supported Nicklaus Children’s pediatric services and operations throughout Palm Beach County, with care provided at the Nicklaus Children’s Boynton Beach Care Center, Nicklaus Children’s Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient Center and the De George Pediatric Unit at Jupiter Medical Center.
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Matching Grant Supports Dental Services

The Batchelor Foundation has generously renewed its support of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital with a $250,000 challenge grant to benefit mobile dental services at Nicklaus Children’s. The Batchelor Foundation’s support of the hospital dates back 30 years, with contributions benefiting various areas including nephrology, research and preventive medicine.

Bouchard Healing Garden donor group photo

Generous Donation Funds Healing Garden for Patient Families

Linda and Morton Bouchard made a generous $1 million gift to fund the Morton & Linda Bouchard Healing Garden in the hospital’s Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion. The Healing Garden aims to provide hospitalized patients and families a quiet space for meditation and respite. Watch video.


Esrick Dream Foundation naming donor group photo
Gifts Benefit Pediatric Cardiology

The Esrick Dream Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit was named thanks to a generous gift from the Esrick Dream Foundation. The unit was  the first dedicated pediatric cardiac unit in the Southeast and one of few in the nation. The cardiac care unit provides highly specialized pre-and post-operative care for children undergoing cardiac surgery and interventional catheterization.

With a $1 million contribution from philanthropist Howard Belford, the hospital’s cardiac surgery suite was named in his honor. Cardiac Surgery brings together a select group of world-renowned cardiac surgeons to treat the most complex heart defects and develop new treatments and techniques that help our patients heal.

Landmark Gift supports Intensive Care

Lynn and Frank Scaduto made a landmark $1 million gift supporting patient care that names the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Floor in the hospital’s Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion. The unit provides care for more than 800 critically ill newborns a year.

Colombia-Based Global Health Program Receives Philanthropic Support

The Lawrence J. & Florence A. De George Charitable Trust has generously donated $1 million to launch a cardiac screening program in Colombia for newborns with congenital heart disease. Working with Colombia-based partners, the program will be rolled out across several sites in the Caribe Region and is estimated to impact at least 7,000 children a year.

Child with fruits and veggies and flexing musclesKohl’s Renews Partnership Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Among Children, Families

Kohl’s Department Stores renewed its support of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in 2019 with a second multi-year grant through its philanthropic arm, Kohl’s Cares, funding the hospital’s #GiveMe5 program. Led by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Food and Nutrition Department, the program brings its mobile farmer’s market into local neighborhoods and schools offering fresh vegetables and healthy recipes for the whole family to enjoy. #GiveMe5 aims to raise awareness of the importance of eating at least five fruits and vegetables a day.

Since 2009, Kohl’s has donated millions of dollars to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, including funding a child bike safety program that provided kids with bike helmets and parents with safety tips.

Support for Telehealth Nursing Program

Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the state’s leading health insurance company, has granted Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation $300,000 over a three-year period to fund Baby Steps, a telehealth nursing intervention program to improve the transition to home care for pediatric patients.

Support for Mental Health, Bereavement and Cancer Programs

The Ortega Foundation donated $130,000 to support the Nicklaus Children’s Mental Health, Bereavement and Cancer initiatives, which touch the lives of underserved families, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Jordan Spieth Family Foundation donor group photo
Enriching the Patient Experience

Thanks to grant support from the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is working to enhance the Children’s Experiences program for hematology and oncology patient families. The grant is funding a recreational specialist and providing resources that upgrade play spaces and teen lounges, boosts support for patient siblings, and helps patients understand upcoming procedures through medical play.

­­­­ iGive logo - campaign for Nicklaus Children's employees
Record Year for Employee Giving via iGIVE

Employees across Nicklaus Children’s Health System have demonstrated a marked increase in philanthropic support for the organization, with nearly $125,000 raised through employee gifts. These supporters, many of whom are part of the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation Monthly Giving Circle, are enrolled in the health system’s employee giving program iGIVE. The program is an opportunity to give back to the hospital by dedicating a percentage of support through every paycheck. Dollars raised throughout the year are used for funding opportunities that impact our patient families and employees.


Other Notable Philanthropic Support


Child holding up CMNH balloon flyerMilestone Year as Regional Children’s Miracle Network Hospital

In 2019, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital celebrated its 32nd year as the official Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in South Florida.  Over the years, major partners like Ace Hardware, Costco, Dairy Queen, Marriott, Publix, Sam’s Club, Speedway and Walmart have raised millions in funds to support our patients and families. We are grateful that these, and many other organizations across South Florida, continue to support Nicklaus Children’s Hospital each year.​

Spread Joy group photo with supportersSpreading Joy Through Annual Toy Drive

The community was especially generous during the holiday season’s Spread Joy Toy Drive sponsored by CVS/Navarro. More than 32,500 items were donated—nearly three times the number of toys donated the previous year—with a value of more than $800,000.



Spirit Halloween photo with childNot-So-Spooky Fundraiser Benefits Nicklaus Children’s Patients

Spirit of Children, the charitable giving arm of Spirit Halloween, raised $86,210 to benefit the hospital’s Child Life Department. Each year, they donate a portion of the proceeds from all Halloween sales in its Miami-area stores. Since 2007, Spirit Halloween has contributed $850,000 to benefit Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Our Patient Stories


Alanis then and nowReconstructive surgery gave new hope to dancer Alanis

After a healthy delivery of her newborn baby girl Alanis, Ana was told that she was born with a small caramel colored birthmark on her arm. Not immediately alarmed by the news, Ana waited for their first appointment with the pediatrician who then referred them to Ana Margarita Duarte, MD, Director of the Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
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Emergency care saved Chad’s lifeChad then and now

When he was 3 years old, a 200-pound piece of wood fell on Chad's chest, rupturing a muscle in his heart. Thanks to the world-class care of the Nicklaus Children's LifeFlight® team and Heart Program, Chad is now an active, healthy teenager.
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Pediatric wheelchair, physical therapy gave Gianna new lifeGianna then and now

After noticing that her daughter was unable to crawl, stand, or do the things her friend's children were doing at six months of age, Idalmis decided that it was time to seek help. Sure enough, after some consultations and genetic testing, Idalmis' gut feeling was right. Her baby girl, Gianna, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 2 (SMA2), a genetic neuromuscular disorder that affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscles (motor neurons). 
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Isabella then and nowIsabella survived Leukemia

At only 7 years old, Isabella began to complain about having back pains. Unable to run and play with her friends, or even walk at times, her mother decided it was time to visit an orthopedist. After several blood tests and an MRI, it was determined that Isabella had leukemia. When treatment did not go as expected, her oncologist in Medellin, Colombia referred the case to Dr. Guillermo De Angulo, pediatric hematology-oncologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
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Josh then and nowJoshua’s mystery illness was finally diagnosed, treated

Shortly after Joshua was born, his mother began to notice he was constantly coughing and sneezing. As any new mother would, she asked the doctor what was wrong with her newborn. He told her that nothing was wrong and that it was completely normal.
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Layla is not defined by scoliosisLayla patient photo

When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, making sure she was well cared for.
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Mariah patient photo
Mariah overcome mental health struggle

Mariah was adopted by her foster parents shortly after birth, but it wasn’t until some years later that she was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a degenerative nerve disease that usually appears in adolescence or early adulthood. This disorder caused Mariah to gradually lose her ability to walk, eventually requiring her to use a wheelchair.
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