Baptist Health Foundation virtual gala raises $1.5M

Baptist Health Foundation virtual gala raises $1.5MMore than 1,000 people participated in Baptist Health Foundation’s first-ever virtual Pineapple Pajama Gala.

With the theme “Character, Compassion, Connection,” the gala honored Baptist Health’s inspiring healthcare heroes and their tireless efforts in caring for the South Florida community throughout the pandemic. The event raised more than $1.5 million to support advanced research, programs, resources and outstanding patient care at Baptist Health hospitals, Centers of Excellence and outpatient facilities.

“The character and compassion that Baptist Health’s clinical care team has shown this past year has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Robert Berrin, Baptist Health Foundation chair.


“The gala was our way of thanking them and bringing awareness to the work they do, day in and day out. It was also an opportunity for us to celebrate the compassion and generosity of our donors,” he added.

“We are thrilled at the success of our first virtual gala,” said Alex Villoch, CEO of Baptist Health Foundation. “We are also exceptionally grateful to our donors and corporate partners who have continued their support despite the unconventional nature of the event. Even though we are apart, our strong connections keep us close together.”

The Pineapple Pajama Gala featured a video tribute to Baptist Health clinical staff, messages from leaders, silent auction, cooking and mixology demos, musical performances, dinner and dancing to a “live” band. Guests were delivered multi-course gourmet meal packages complete with wine and cocktail ingredients, as well as “Fun Boxes” with the evening’s program and festive party swag. The dress code encouraged chic pajamas and loungewear.

The gala also featured a prize raffle sponsored by Caribee Boat Sales and Marina. The winners of the 2021 Hewes 16-foot Redfisher in Sardina Green, Yamaha VF90 and AmeraTrail trailer — a prize package valued at $51,895 — were Nestor and Karina Giradello. All proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets benefit Baptist Health’s Mariners Hospital in Tavernier. Caribee Boat Sales and Marina of Islamorada has donated boats to support the Mariners Hospital raffle for the past 17 years.

The Pineapple Pajama Galas event committee was chaired by Liana de Mena and included Joseph Buchanan, Kristina Gossman-Ducanes, Lourdes Jofre-Collett, Lani Kahn Drodi, Abby Portuando, Betty Anne Schilling and Debbie Taño.

The gala was supported by presenting sponsors Cerner Corporation and Insightec. The event’s philanthropic chair was the Korn – Rico Toro Family. The Miami Heat was the official sports team partner, and American Airlines was the official airline partner. Diamond sponsors included All Medical Personnel, Cisco-Presidio, The Collection, Criticare Clinics Inc., CVS Health-Aetna, DPR Construction, Emergent Physicians of South Florida, Florida Panthers, Kidz Medical Services, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, NV2A Group, Radiology Associates of South Florida, Karel Foti and Mr. and Mrs. John Haley.

Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties.


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