Big Hearts Celebration

WAY_0006November 29th, 2010 – The event began at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale where participants were welcomed by Ron Catronio, co-founder/chairman of the Big Bike Riders Children’s Foundation.

Other speakers included Michael S. Long, vice president of the Broward Health Foundation and James Thaw, chief executive officer of Broward General Medical Center and Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.

Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Charlotte Rodstrom also attended the event and presented a proclamation naming March 8, 2009 as Chris Evert Children’s Hospital – Celebration of Smiles Charity Ride Day.  The ride ended at Wetz Pub in Sunrise where an estimated 500 attendees were treated to food, music, biker games, and a silent auction.

“The word is quickly spreading throughout our community about the expansion and renovation of the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital,” said Long.  “We’re so grateful that Ron Catronio and the Big Bike Riders Children’s Foundation has partnered with us to help improve the lives of our pediatric patients and their families.  We look forward to working with the group to grow this event in the years to come.”

Organizations including JM Family Enterprises, The Elvis Presley Estate, Coral Springs Quilters, Chic-fil-A, the Florida Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Caran Art and more donated silent auction items.  The Fabulons and Southern Rock Society entertained the crowd with live music, while Chef Joel at Wetz Pub provided a barbeque.

“The hearts of bikers are never bigger than when there are children involved, and let’s face it, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital is the marquee of world-class pediatric health care,” said Catronio.  “We are really proud to have established this relationship with Broward Health and the Broward Health Foundation.”

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information visit