Jackson Health Foundation's International Kids Fund Luncheon Draws Hundreds

​​​​​Over 250 compassionate supporters of the International Kids Fund Wonderfund (IKF) attended the 2016 Circle of Heroes Luncheon, held April 14 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables. The luncheon celebrated the lives of the many children saved thanks to the generosity of IKF’s Circle of Heroes. The luncheon also served as a platform to thank Circle of Heroes donors and to welcome new members.

IKF, a program of the Jackson Health Foundation, provides support to children from around the world who are in need of life-saving and life-changing medical care that is not available to them in their home country. IKF counts on the support of a dedicated group of benefactors and health care professionals – the Circle of Heroes - who, through their generosity and volunteerism, make a difference in the life of each child IKF serves.

During this year’s luncheon, Mariana Sanchez, Chairwoman of the IKF Advisory Board and a member of the Jackson Health Foundation’s Board of Directors, recognized the Espino family. Their daughter Virginia was able to receive life-changing medical care at Holtz Children’s Hospital. The Espino family has made it their mission to give back and to support IKF so that other children may receive medical care.

"There are many children and families around the world who turn to IKF hoping for a miracle. IKF serves as the catalyst for providing life-saving care to families who otherwise would not be able to afford it."

Niurka Del Valle, IKF Director and Sr. Director of Development

“The International Kids Fund gave my family the resources we needed to give our daughter her life back,” said Virginia’s father Ramphis Espino. “We are very grateful to those who donated to help our child. We want to make sure that other families around the world get the care they need.”

TV personality and philanthropist Carolina Diago served as Mistress of Ceremony. Sponsors of the Circle of Heroes luncheon included DIA-M.co, La Maison De Pascale, Southern Wine & Spirits, Selecta Magazine and the Miami Herald. Miami-born and internationally acclaimed artist Alexander Mijares donated a hand-painted artwork entitled “Accept the Change” that served as the luncheon’s backdrop and was auctioned off during the event.    

Since 2001, IKF has facilitated medical care for more than 650 children at Holtz Children's Hospital at the UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. They have been treated for conditions ranging from tumors, to cardiac conditions, to organ transplants. Each year, the number of requests received from parents and guardians desperately seeking medical care for their children, continues to grow.

“There are many children and families around the world who turn to IKF hoping for a miracle,” said Niurka Del Valle, IKF Director and Sr. Director of Development. “IKF serves as the catalyst for providing life-saving care to families who otherwise would not be able to afford it.”

“Medical care for children helped through IKF is provided by Jackson Health System’s Holtz Children’s Hospital, said Keith R. Tribble, President and CEO of Jackson Health Foundation. “And, because of the generosity and support of our donors, doctors, and caring individuals, IKF has become the miracle that so many families hope for.”

Joining the Circle of Heroes is simple - with a pledge of $1,200 yearly, for 5 years, IKF ‘Heroes’ help families globally find the critical care needed to treat their child’s medical crisis. From organ transplants to surgeries that restore hearing, IKF makes miracles happen for children around the world.  

For more information on the International Kids Fund Wonderfund (IKF), visit www.wonderfund.org or call (305) 585-5888.

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About Jackson Health Foundation

Jackson Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the fundraising arm for Jackson Health System, the most comprehensive healthcare provider in South Florida and the largest public hospital in the country. Through the generosity of compassionate donors, the Foundation seeks private philanthropic funds to improve the System’s facilities, provide the most advanced equipment and technology, and support its priority projects. The Foundation’s fundraising efforts allow Jackson Health System to provide life-saving medical care to all of its patients, regardless of financial need, and improve health care delivery, enhance the hospital experience for patients, and promote wellness and preventive medicine. Jackson Health Foundation offers several fundraising programs, including the Golden Angel Society, the Foundation’s premier giving society; Guardian Angels, who are dedicated to supporting Holtz Children’s Hospital; International Kids Fund Wonderfund™, a global outreach program that provides medical care to children from around the world who cannot be treated in their home countries; and the Young Angels Program, for individuals who believe that participation in civic engagement activities is vital to the health of their community. Founded in 1991, the Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors committed to philanthropic activities that, to date, have raised over $140 million to benefit Jackson Health System. For more information about Jackson Health Foundation, please visit www.JacksonHealthFoundation.org or call 305.585.GIVE (4483).

Source: Jackson Health Foundation