Gulfstream Park’s leading jockeys and track officials presented a $50,000 donation to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital March 21 after spending the morning visiting children and their parents.
Gulfstream president and general manager Steve Calabro was joined at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida by jockeys John Velazquez, Joe Bravo, Alex Solis, Javier Castellano, Elvis Trujillo and clerk of scales Victor Sanchez.
"To see the smile on these kids faces…well, that means everything," Bravo said.
"It’s an incredible experience to meet these extraordinary kids and the wonderful staff of people here at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital," said Velazquez. "We’re honored to have the privilege to come here today."
Gulfstream officials and the jockeys, dressed in silks, met children in one of the hospital’s play rooms. They gave away hats, goggles, shirts, diaries and signed trading cards. "When you get better," Bravo told one of the patients, "you’re going to come see us. You’re going to be our guest."
Kevin Janser, vice president and executive director, Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundations, said Gulfstream’s donation will be used in the construction of the new, four-story, 160,000-square-foot Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the first of its kind in Broward County. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the nation performing minimally invasive endoscopic surgery for cranial abnormalities and the only children’s hospital in Broward and Palm Beach counties performing cardiac catheterization and open heart surgery.
"It’s a pleasure to partner with the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital," Calabro said. "We have worked with this organization over the past two years and it’s always a rewarding and moving experience to see all the fine work being done by the staff and the progress these children make."