by Sandra Lee Buxton
As Chair of this year’s Florida Cancer Specialist Foundation Gala (FCSF) “ Time to Remember” Patty Baker is inviting you to attend this one of a kind party. The motivating factor in accepting this role is because “it’s fun, and it feels good to be of help to families in need.” Lets learn more about this leader and you’ll understand how this all fits together. The Baker surname comes from the ancient culture of the Anglo-Saxons and was first used as an occupational name. Baking and the provision of food for others is definitely “hospitality”, and that’s the motivation for philanthropic endeavors, kindness and improving opportunities for others. “Do the right thing and it comes back 10 fold”, is an old family saying from her childhood and doing the right thing is her motto today.
She and her husband Jay made Naples their permanent home in 2004 and have helped mold our community into what it is today. Although she lives a low key life style and considers herself shy her public persona is larger than life. Let’s mention just a few of her passions:
The Arts: No secret that Patty loves all art forms and she wants to ensure that others have access as well. The Baker Museum of Artis – Naples is an impressive collection and considered the foremost fine arts museum in SW Florida. Gulfshore Playhouse was the recipient of a gift when Patty and her husband Jay became Season Benefactors ensuring the continuation of professional theater here locally. Patty studied theater at Hunter College in NYC so this art form is in her blood. The Baker Theater on that College campus was provided to enhance the learning experience of future students. Then of course there’s Broadway, need we say more. Preferring to be off stage and behind the scenes she is a Tony Award Winning Producer and this winter will have six Broadway productions running at the same time, WOW.
Baker Park: Patty’s love for all things Naples, made her investment in “the people’s park” a natural. The yet undeveloped seven acres of land is located adjacent to city owned property and the mangrove forest along the Gordon River. The purpose of the Baker Park is to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Bringing joy to others certainly sounds like hospitality to me.
Health and Wellness: NCH’s North Naples Hospital is home to the Jay and Patty Baker Patient Care Tower. The reason for involvement is simple; to assist others as they heal by providing space that is state of the art. Patty values good health and living a healthy lifestyle and wants that available to others as well.
Gala – Her “Time to Remember” extravaganza brings out her passion of supporting others at a vulnerable time in their lives. The FCSF began in 2010 and was established as a 501(c)(3) in 2012, thus far it has provided more than $1,000,000 in financial support to patients. The inaugural biannual fundraiser was held in 2014 and amassed more than $600,000 which was welcome relief for so many patients. Monies specifically help qualified patients pay for their everyday living expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, telephones, cars, transportation or insurance payments. Relief from some of the everyday stressors enables patients to focus on what’s really important, fighting their cancer.
Patty has had family members affected by cancer which brings the Gala mission closer to home. She has experienced firsthand the stress, struggles and the emotional toll that accompany fighting this disease. Patty used her involvement with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland Ohio to obtain Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Martha who is the First Lady of Motown and certainly a legend is guaranteed to bring the house down. Those who are connoisseurs of fine music will recognize that indeed THERE IS NO OTHER MUSIC. Patty mentioned that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame grew out of Blues, Gospel, Country then Rock and Roll/Jazz. With a Gala goal of raising more than $1,000,000 this year, “Time to Remember” will also be known as “The Event to Remember.” Live auction items are not your traditional fare but treasures that everyone will be clamoring for. Join Patty on April 16, 2016 at The Ritz on the beach and be one of those who care and want to share.
For tickets and sponsorship/underwriting opportunities call 941.677.7181 or visit Foundation.FLCancer.com/Time