Sports stars visit patients at Florida Hospital for Children to kick off Diamond Resorts Invitational golf tournament

A couple walks the course between holes while golfing.

Fla., ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 9, 2018 — Florida Hospital for Children patients got a few golf pointers from athletes such as John Smoltz, Mark Rypien, Michael Waltrip and Marcus Allen in a friendly round of putt-putt Tuesday, as the star athletes visited the hospital to kick off the 2018 Diamond Resorts Invitational.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational has raised more than $2 million for Florida Hospital for Children since 2013.

“We are so grateful for Diamond Resorts International and their commitment to Florida Hospital for Children, our patients, and helping advance pediatric medicine,” said Marla Silliman, senior executive officer of Florida Hospital for Children. “This important fundraiser puts some of our sickest patients on the road to healing and helps us continually improve our care.”

Each year, star athletes and celebrities visit patients and their families, and this year’s visit featured baseball players Reggie Jackson, Gaylord Perry, Johnny Damon and John Smoltz; LPGA golfer Brittany Lincicome; former NFL stars Mark Rypien, Marcus Allen and Ryan Longwell; NASCAR’s Michael Waltrip; Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” and comedian Larry the Cable Guy.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational will be held Friday through Sunday at the Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Orlando.

“It is an honor to have Florida Hospital for Children as the beneficiary for our premiere event, the Diamond Resorts Invitational,” said Mike Flaskey, chief executive officer of Diamond Resorts International. “The hospital does incredible work, and since the beginning of our partnership we have been able to see the impact that our combined efforts have had on helping save the lives of so many children.”

For media inquiries only, contact Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at Call407-303-5950 or email [email protected].

About Florida Hospital for Children

The Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children is one of the premier children’s hospitals in the nation, setting standards for innovation, quality and comprehensive care. Our child-centric healing environment was designed to keep kids comfortable is complemented by a staff of world-class doctors, specialists, nurses and healthcare professionals utilizing advanced technologies, therapies and treatments. The medical team of over 135 highly skilled pediatric specialists delivers extraordinary care across more than 35 pediatric subspecialties, including a children's emergency department; the Level IV Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy Center; a world-renowned pediatric heart center; a Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); and the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Central Florida’s first and only pediatric bone marrow transplant program affiliated with Duke Health.

About Diamond Resorts International®

Diamond Resorts International® (Diamond Resorts) is a worldwide leader in the hospitality and vacation ownership industries with a network of more than 370 vacation destinations located in 35 countries throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

Diamond Resorts offers its members the opportunity to create priceless memories through innovative vacation choices including once-in-a-lifetime excursions to world-renowned landmarks, unforgettable guided tours to dream destinations, and access to exclusive VIP concert experiences, high-energy sporting events and exciting shows. With high-quality resorts in desirable destinations, we provide the kind of vacation experiences that help our members, owners and guests reconnect with loved ones, collect a lifetime of meaningful memories and keep that Stay Vacationed® feeling all year long.

Diamond Resorts International® manages vacation ownership resorts and sells vacation ownership points that provide members and owners with Vacations for Life® at over 370 managed and affiliated properties and cruise itineraries.