Second Annual Spring Bling to Be Held Saturday
Thursday, March 17, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University Athletic Department, the United Way, and other supporters, organizations and volunteers, will once again join forces for the second annual Spring Bling event for the real stars of Southwest Florida, the pediatric patients at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, on Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m.

The atrium of the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will be transformed into a glamorous evening for all the patients currently undergoing treatment at the hospital. The evening will be filled with music, dancing, food, games, and goodie bags for the V.I.P.’s to enjoy. Spring Bling will give every patient an opportunity to feel like a star, as paparazzi snap photos, and fans (90 exuberant FGCU student-athletes) cheer and ask for autographs.

“Spring Bling is the only event of its kind in Southwest Florida and I have never heard of another Division I Athletic Department being a part of such an event,” said third-year women’s tennis head coach Jennifer Gabou, who created and directed this prestigious event for the second year. “It is amazing to see community organizations such as United Way, For the Kid’s Foundation, and The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida come together to celebrate the real stars of our community, the pediatric patients. When you see those patients walk the red carpet as their parents watch, it is a moment that can change your life.”

The evening’s activities will include complimentary catering from Carrabba’s at Gulf Coast Town Center, as well as, a cookie decorating table courtesy of Norman Love.

Over 90 student athletes will be in attendance as paparazzi and fans to greet the 150 V. I.P’s as they enter the event by walking the red carpet.

“When I approached Kim Berghs (United Way) three years ago with this concept it was just a small dream and now it has grown into its own entity,” continued Gabou. “For the second straight year we are putting on an event on a zero dollar budget. Every item, gift, dinner, entertainment and event at Spring Bling was donated by businesses in Southwest Florida. I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing event with an organizing group that really cares about the patients. These memories on Saturday will last a lifetime.”

The purpose of Spring Bling is to give the pediatric patients of The Children's Hospital of SW Florida a night that they will always remember.