South Miami Hospital 54th Annual Mercury Ball

Benefiting South Miami Hospital Foundation

Bruce Wirtz MacArthur and Veronica Flores, representing presenting sponsor, First National Bank of South Miami, with Wayne Brackin

On March 1, 2014, South Miami Hospital’s 54th annual Mercury Ball raised more than $430,000 for the Child Development Center Endowment. The Center provides diagnostic and early intervention services to help babies born with complications, as well as children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. Babies admitted to South Miami Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are also offered follow-up care at the Center.

Former patient Ricky Zeichner spoke to the audience of 500 guests, expressing gratitude for the Center and its staff, who helped him overcome developmental obstacles. Now a teenager, Mr. Zeichner became a patient of the Center when he was an infant.

The black-tie affair transformed the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott Marquis into a “Cirque du Safari” atmosphere resembling an African savannah with circus-themed entertainment. Music was provided by “The Headliners”. The event was hosted by South Miami Hospital Associates, community and business leaders who are goodwill ambassadors and fundraisers for the Hospital, and South Miami Hospital Foundation. First National Bank of South Miami served as the Presenting Sponsor; Kidz Medical Services served as Title Sponsor. Other notable sponsors included Cisco / Presidio, Bacardi, Florida Heart Care, Inc., Intuitive Surgical, South Miami Inpatient Physicians, Inc., South Miami Criticare Inc., Riviera Health Resort, Pulmonary Group of South Florida, and Radiology Associates of South Florida.

William H. Banchs, Yerby Barker and Lincoln Mendez

Proceeds from event table sales, silent and live auctions and a request for contributions at the event contributed to the evening’s fundraising success. Funds will assist in building a $10 million endowment to assist with the Center’s operational needs. Private funding subsidizes the costs associated with helping children achieve their full potential.

Charles K. Miller was chair of the Mercury ball; Dorcas and Anthony Gonzalez, M.D., were co-chairs. Individuals honored during the evening included Person of the Year Yvonne Johnson, M.D. and Philanthropic Volunteer of the Year William “Billy” Baldwin.

South Miami Hospital is part of Baptist Health, South Florida’s largest faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization. The Baptist Health system includes Baptist, Baptist Children’s, Doctors, Homestead, West Kendall Baptist and Mariners Hospitals, as well as Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Baptist Outpatient Services and Baptist Health Enterprises. Baptist Health Foundation supports services at all hospitals and facilities affiliated with Baptist Health through fundraising.

To support the South Miami Hospital Child Development Center, please call 786-662-8206 or e-mail

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