Wolfson Children’s Hospital provides hospital care for children in the Northeast Florida region, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. The hospitals’ “pay what you can” philosophy means they rely heavily on donations and grants to afford equipment and staff.
One of the hospital’s largest sources of donated money comes from The Women’s Board. Since its founding in 1973, the board has raised over $28 million for Wolfson, chiefly through two annual events—The Arts and Antiques Show and the Florida Forum.
“It gets a little crazy, sometimes I look at my calendar and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did all that [work] last week,’” said Anna Neal, a chair for the Art and Antique Show.
Neal has been with the board for six years and spends her days organizing and preparing for the annual event. While this keeps her schedule crammed, it’s not all she does. She also spends her time being a mother.
Thanks to this non-stop dedication to children, Neal and her fellow Women’s Board members – of which there are over 400— are considered “the creme de la creme of Jacksonville” by Dr. Veronica Scott-Fulton, the vice president of operations and patient care services at Wolfson.
“They are the mothers to our kids at Wolfson, they are the aunties you’ve always wanted because they have dedicated their extra time, their focus, their extra funds, their energy, to the children,” said Scott-Fulton.
One of those children is Kayden Baker.
Baker was three-months-old when his family found out he had stage two kidney cancer. According to his mother, Haley Baker, he spent 18 weeks undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Wolfson.
Now, three years after his treatment, Baker is living a normal life. His mother credits the staff and resources at the children’s hospital for his good health.
“He’s crazy, he is super witty, he’s really funny, he is just so hyper, but I love it,” says Haley.