Kids’ Minds Matter’s fourth annual Secret Garden Gala will be held March 4 in Bonita Springs. Over its three-year history, the Secret Garden Gala has raised awareness and nearly $2.2 million in philanthropic support for pediatric mental and behavioral healthcare initiatives in Southwest Florida.

This year’s keynote speaker is mental health advocate and best-selling author Kevin Hines, who will share his personal struggles with mental illness and the story of his miraculous survival following his near-fatal jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Secret Garden Gala begins at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4 at Southwest Florida Event Center, 11515 Bonita Beach Road SE in Bonita Springs. The event features hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, entertainment and exclusive experiences available through a live auction. Tickets are $500 per person. Recommended attire is “Garden Cocktail.”

The goal of Kids’ Minds Matter is to provide youth and their families with a proper diagnosis, resources and treatment options. An estimated 46,000 Southwest Florida children are impacted by mental and behavioral health disorders like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Philanthropic support for Kids’ Minds Matter has allowed Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida to: implement a tiered model of care that clinically aligns community, inpatient and outpatient care;  hire additional psychiatrists, child advocates and other mental health professionals; offer Mental Health First Aid training to local pediatricians, emergency service providers and others who work directly with children; renovate an outpatient center in Fort Myers where a child’s needs can be addressed in a therapeutic setting; and launch a first-of-its-kind Pediatric Digital Cognitive Behavioral Health diagnostic and treatment protocols interlaced with Tele-Psychology support to treat anxiety, depression and trauma. Most recently, Kids’ Minds Matter introduced mental health care navigators into Lee County Schools who will help families find resources and care to address their child’s mental healthcare needs.

NBC2 anchor Kellie Burns will emcee the event, and benefit auctioneer Rick Gallo will lead a “Fund the Need” auction to generate additional support.

Sponsorships for the Secret Garden Gala start at $1,500 and can include event tickets, reserved seating, meet-and-greet opportunities with the keynote speaker, public recognition and other acknowledgments through marketing, advertising and promotions.

The Secret Garden Gala is presented by Dr. Rick and Ellie Klein of Bonita Springs. Sponsors include Dorothy and Ron Fitzgerald, Susan Goldy and Scott Spiezle, Audi Fort Myers, Audi Naples, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Fort Myers Florist, Jill Kushner, The Kim Foundation, LeeSar and Stock Development.

Organizing committee members include Albert Abdo, Jeanne Beaulieu, Shavon Chester, Kathy Courtnage, Larry Courtnage, Gillian Draper, Dorothy Fitzgerald, Anne Frazier, Rick Gallo, Susan Goldy, John Halstead, George Hamilton, Tina Keating, Jennifer Parisi, Paul Simeone, Ph.D., Phil Simon, Bill Skidmore, Pat Smart, Scott Spiezle and Laura Tombs.

For ticket and sponsorship opportunities, please visit KidsMindsMatter.com or call 239-214-0921.

About Kids’ Minds Matter

Founded in 2016, Kids’ Minds Matter is a unified movement in Southwest Florida dedicated to advancing pediatric mental and behavioral health services. By developing clinical pathways to screen and treat patients, enhancing public awareness through education, and lobbying for systemic change and sustainable funding, Kids’ Minds Matter aims to align mental health providers, local agencies, the judicial system, law enforcement, schools and faith-based organizations. Kids’ Minds Matter is managed through the Lee Health Foundation. Please visit KidsMindsMatter.com or call 239-214-0921 for more information.

About Golisano Children’s Hospital

Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three consecutive years by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.