FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University Athletic Department, the United Way and other supporters, organizations and volunteers, joined forces to put on a free event called ‘Spring Bling’ for the real stars of Southwest Florida: the pediatric patients at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida on April 17, 2010.
Spring Bling, which is the first event of its kind in Southwest Florida, was the vision of Women’s Tennis Coach, Jennifer Gabou, a year and a half ago. With the help of United Way, The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, as well as the For the Kids Foundation, her dream became a reality.
The atrium of the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida was transformed into a glamorous evening for over 100 patients currently undergoing treatment at the hospital. The evening was filled with dancing, food, fun, games, and goodie bags for our V.I.P.’s to enjoy. Spring Bling gave every patient an opportunity to feel like a star, as paparazzi snapped photos, Disney princesses mingled and fans (90 exuberant FGCU student-athletes) cheered and asked for autographs.
The evenings activities included catering by Fort Myers Carrabbas, world renowned Normal Love Chocolates, Wii game room, special appearances by Azul and the Disney Princesses, and a dance floor.
As the DJ played into the night, patients and their families were able forget their own personal obstacles and instead play, laugh, and dance with FGCU student-athletes.
“I am very proud of all of our student athlete’s hard work in making Spring Bling possible,”said Gabou. “While this was the first year for this incredible event, it will certainly not be the last.”