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SanCap Cares Celebrates 17 Years of Success

The annual SanCap Cares Island Celebration was held Sunday evening at The Sanctuary Golf Club. Over 250 members of the Sanibel and Captiva communities joined together to raise $775,000 for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital (GCH). Susan Ryckman, Vice President of Patient Care Services at GCH commented, “I am forever grateful and amazed by the generosity of the SW Florida community, helping us do what we are trained to do to take care of the most important people in the world, our kids.”     

With the new hospital opening on May 10th of this year, the group’s priority has now moved to outfitting the new facility with state-of-the-art equipment and instruments. Specifically this year, the event raised funds to outfit a new pediatric orthopedic operating room. The hospital agreed to fund the balance of the $1,400,000 Operating Room if SanCap Cares could raise $700,000. This will ensure that the children of Southwest Florida can stay close to home when they require complex surgery. As a surprise at the event, Skip Leonard CFO of Lee Health Foundation, announced that the new OR will be named “Amanda’s Room”, in honor of SanCap Cares co-founder and champion Amanda Cross.

Co-Chairs Valerie Tutor and Diana Day, along with Honorary Chair Amanda Cross, began the evening by thanking everyone for their incredible support of the Hospital. Valerie served as this year's Emcee and Jean Baer acted as the auctioneer.  Jim Nathan, President and CEO of Lee Heath, and Jim Sprankle, world renowned sculptor, served as Jean's sidekicks and captivated the audience with their antics. 

A highlight of the evening was the auctioning of Jim Sprankle's sculpture, “Ding's Darlings.” The spectacular three-foot tall life-size sculpture was commissioned in 2001 and depicts the courtship dance of two tri-colored Herons. The piece was generously donated by former Sanibel Islanders Dewey and Brenda Tate and the exciting $115,000 winning bid is to be split evenly between the Golisano Children's Hospital and the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society.

The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company was the event’s Presenting Sponsor, as they have been for the last fourteen years. The evening represented that which is so special about Sanibel and Captiva - neighbors coming together in support of a cause that will benefit the entire community. With this year's funds, SanCap Cares has raised over $14 Million since its founding in 2001.

For more information visit or contact Ali Levine at (239) 984-1381 or