More than 650 community leaders gathered for the 13th annual Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation (NCHF) Diamond Ball on Saturday, Oct. 19, helping to raise nearly $2 million to benefit patients and families receiving care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
The event, which took place at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, also honored Michael Fux, philanthropist and CEO of Imaginarium, for his commendable work helping underserved children in South Florida.
This year’s Diamond Ball cast an important light on the mental health needs of the region’s children. During the emotionally charged evening, guests were inspired to help address the serious mental health challenges affecting young people.
“One in four children will experience a mental health issue with the statistic climbing every year,” said Juliana Krys, Diamond Ball co-chair and member of the NCHF board of directors.
“Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among teenagers. We cannot deny that there is a mental health crisis and that it’s affecting too many of our children. We desperately need to change this and we can do so only with the help of our community.”
Michelle Boggs, president of NCHF, said, “We are thankful to all our donors and corporate supporters for an unforgettable evening in which our community came together to help our patients and families confronting issues related to mental health. The event, led by our amazing Diamond Ball co-chairs, Juliana and Alex Krys, was a true example of what our community can do to make a difference in the lives of our children and the families who love them.”
A highlight of the event was the induction of longtime champion of children Michael Fux into the Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame induction is the highest honor bestowed by NCHF, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated a passionate commitment to ensuring the health and happiness of children everywhere.
Fux, a successful entrepreneur whose real passion is bringing cheer to sick children and their families, funds the Michael Fux Family Center, which first opened in 2009 on the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital main campus. The center offers home-like comforts for patients and their families, including a library, movie theater, full kitchen, dining room, a small cardio gym, and free laundry services as well as hair styling and massage services.
Since 2005, Fux has hosted an annual holiday party for up to 450 underserved children and their families who have had a challenging year medically. He provides generous gifts from each child’s individual wish list as well as delicious food and lively entertainment.
“Michael Fux is a longtime Nicklaus Children’s supporter who has made it his mission to help children in need. We are honored to recognize his dedication with the induction into the Hall of Fame,” Boggs said.
Boggs also acknowledged the participation of hospital namesakes Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, who attended the Diamond Ball.
“We are so grateful to Jack and Barbara and their Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation for their enduring commitment to the region’s children. They are an inspiration to us all.”
The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of City National Bank, CNN Español, CVS Pharmacy, Duty Free Americas, Inc, Greenberg Traurig PA, Hometown Foundation, JW Marriott Marquis Miami, MBF Healthcare Partners, Miami Herald, Ocean Drive magazine, Perry Ellis International, Polen Capital, Robins & Morton, Selecta Magazine, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Florida, Stearns Weaver Miller, Wells Fargo and West Coast University.