By Gary Curreri
Sun Sentinel Correspondent
Feb 25, 2022 1:04 PM
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For years, Boca Raton resident Kevin Janser has watched the growth of the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital through donations raised through the nonprofit foundation in which he serves as president.
One of those endeavors is the annual Robins and Morton Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Tour de Broward fundraiser that benefits kids, families and pediatric care.
In its 12 previous years, Tour de Broward has generated over $5.5 million for pediatric health care in South Florida. For those who prefer to support the cause virtually, that’s an option, with individuals able to complete their event at the time and location of their choosing. Event materials will be mailed to all virtual participants.
“It’s an important cause, both symbolic and for the funds that are raised,” Janser said. “This is the 13th year we have done this event and while it has financially supported different aspects of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, none of that is more important than the other.
“When you are making a difference in the lives of kids and when you are saving the lives of children, and changing their lives, which is what Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital does every day,” he said. “You are having the ultimate impact in family and kids.”
The event, which is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, March 6 at Miramar Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Parkway, helps expand programs and services for kids and families at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
It combines fun, fitness and philanthropy through a 3K walk, 5K timed run, 50 and 100K bicycle rides and the Power of Play Kids Zone, a sports-themed, fun area for children 13 or younger. Due to COVID-19, last year’s event took place virtually.
Janser said the expansion of the hospital from four to eight stories that began over a year ago should be ready by the end of this year. He said without the money raised through foundation fundraisers such as the Tour de Broward, the projects would not have been possible.
“It was not a project that was done because we were going to make more money as a health care system,” Janser said. “It was a project that was done because it is the right thing to do for families in our community, and it is upgrading the facility and making the facility significantly better for the children that we see today. They are taking care of sicker and sicker patients.
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“It is very intense and very specific,” Janser said. “For example, we are putting in an intraoperative MRI that allows a neurosurgeon, who is in the middle of a surgery, to be able to do an MRI while they are in the surgical suite rather than have to take that patient out and come back a couple of days later.”
He said he is looking forward to seeing everyone back at the event this year.
Each participant will receive breakfast, lunch, an event shirt and a goodie bag.
“We’re excited to once again offer an in-person experience for those who desire that,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez III, president and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to make a statement about the type of caring community we want to live in, all while having fun with family and friends.”
The cost to participate is $15 to $50, depending on the event and sign-up date.