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Sports Stars, Pediatric Patients Help Kick-Off Brian Gay Invitational

Sports Stars, Pediatric Patients Help Kick-Off Brian Gay Invitational

Athletes join children for a round of putt-putt at Florida Hospital for Children

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 12, 2014 ­–– Florida Hospital for Children transformed into a miniature golf course with friendly games between sports celebrities and pediatric patients as the 2nd Annual Brian Gay Invitational kicked off its three-day golfing event. Proceeds from the Brian Gay Invitational, played at Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, benefit Florida Hospital for Children.

Pediatric patients at Florida Hospital for Children were cheered on by their family, friends and medical staff as they paired up and played putt-putt with Brian Gay, Richard Dent, Marcus Allen, Roger Clemens, Jose Alvarez, Johnny Damon, Eric Dickerson, Reggie Jackson, Chad Pfeifer, and Mark Rypien.

“The doctors, nurses and staff at Florida Hospital for Children play a crucial role in the lives of countless children and their families. Their work saves these young lives, and also helps guarantee that these boys and girls will have a bright and hopeful future,” said Brian Gay. “We are thrilled to partner with Florida Hospital for Children and help this organization continue its esteemed mission.”

Patients and their families were overjoyed by the chance to meet the athletes, get a few golf pointers and enjoy extra activities such as face-painting.

“I had lots of athlete friends,” said 9-year-old Destiny Roberts. “It was fun. There were a lot of people who helped me and I really appreciate it.”

Destiny’s father, Jason Roberts, was equally excited at the chance to meet the sports stars. “It was awesome for the kids to get their mind off of what’s going on,” Roberts said. “It shows that they definitely care.”

Florida Hospital for Children is a full-service facility served by more than 130 pediatric specialists and a highly trained pediatric team of more than 1,000 caregivers and staff. TheWalt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando delivers a complete range of pediatric health services for younger patients including advanced surgery, oncology, neurosurgery, cardiology and transplant services, full-service pediatrics, and an innovative health and obesity platform.

“We are honored by Brian Gay and Diamond Resorts for their vital efforts that benefit Florida Hospital for Children,” said Marla Silliman, senior vice president and administrator for Florida Hospital for Children. “For more than 100 years, Florida Hospital has been caring for not just Central Florida’s children, but for children around the globe who travel to Orlando for our expert medical care. The money raised from the Brian Gay Invitational will be used to continue our commitment to saving children’s lives and improving their health.”

The Brian Gay Invitational presented by Diamond Resorts International is a best-in-class celebrity/amateur golf tournament held Dec. 12-14.

“Diamond Resorts International® has a global commitment to philanthropy in our local communities. The Orlando area in particular represents an ideal opportunity for our charitable efforts, as Diamond Resorts has over 5,000 room keys and hundreds of dedicated team members who live and work here. We are passionate about children's healthcare and Florida Hospital for Children is a worthy cause and a great beneficiary of this world-class event,” said Michael Flaskey, executive vice president, chief sales and marketing officer of Diamond Resorts International.

For more information about the Brian Gay Invitational, call Christopher Figueroa at 310-844-2051 

For information, call Florida Hospital Media Relations at 407-303-8217.