Parking Garage Press Conference

On Friday afternoon, I received the following press release in my email inbox from Florida Hospital : Florida Hospital for Children Set to “Light the Way” in Children’s Health Care with a Major Announcement Multi-million dollar gift will provide a brighter future for children of Central Florida and beyond

WHAT:           The Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children is going to make a major announcement regarding a multi-million dollar gift that will affect the health care of children in Central Florida and beyond. This is another example of how Orlando is one step closer to becoming a medical destination. Join us on Saturday, November 20 for an exciting unveiling that will light up the night and learn more about this exciting announcement.

WHERE:         Alden Parking Garage, Top Floor Florida Hospital Orlando - 2328 Alden Road, Orlando, FL 32803

WHEN:           Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

VISUALS:       At this milestone event, you will have the opportunity to ·         Hear from one of BusinessWeek’s top philanthropists about providing access for children to the best health care ·         Witness an exciting unveiling that will affect children’s health care ·         Hear from notable Central Florida leaders about growing Orlando as a medical destination


I was intrigued. A "major announcement" in a parking garage on a Saturday night? I called a public relations officer at the hospital and pressed for more information - a list of speakers, who will be in the audience or any more hints of what this will be about.

"Just come," she said. "You won't be sorry."

So yesterday night, out of sheer curiosity, I went to the event with my recorder and notepad.

Al Weiss, President of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks, made this announcement :


Denny Sanford (the very same Sanford from the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research) was there as well and made a few remarks.

Then, there was a prayer and surprise countdown before lighting up a building - formerly known as Florida Hospital's medical office building for kids.


To commemorate the brand new T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Center, some luminaries were also released to the sky during this time. I fretted about what would happen to the balloons when they touched ground again, but I relaxed when told they were biodegradable and wouldn't cause forest fires.

The Saturday night story of "Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford Makes $10 Million Gift to the Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children" won't make it in tomorrow's radio newscasts, but I don't regret going to the event and may use the sound for another piece.

At least, I can now say that I've been to a press conference held at a parking garage.