DURHAM, N.C. – Year two of the Birdies for Babies program has concluded with record numbers raised for the Duke Children’s Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units. The Blue Devil men’s and women’s programs raised $26,322.75 in 2018-19, more than doubling the $10,500 mark from a year ago.
“We are so very grateful to the Duke women’s and men’s golf teams for raising awareness and support for the smallest patients at Duke Children’s,” said Amy Deshler, Senior Executive Director for Duke Children’s and Duke Cancer Center Development. “Many thanks to the players, coaching staffs, sports information directors and generous donors who helped us more than double our total raised last season. We have amazing student athletes here at Duke! A special thank you to Virginia Elena Carter for her vision and leadership for Birdies for Babies. From all of us at Duke Children’s, congratulations to both teams for a great season and to the women’s golf team for yet another National Championship.”
The women’s program collected 525 birdies this past season with 193 coming in the fall and 332 in the spring, while the men’s squad notched 756 birdies (283 in the fall and 473 in the spring).
Senior Virginia Elena Carta formed the Birdies for Babies program as a junior and with her help the Blue Devils have raised $36,822.75 over the last two seasons. Carta, who hails from Udine, Italy, is hoping to get more programs involved and it will continue long after her days at Duke are done.
“I’m so proud of the way Birdies for Babies has been able to impact Duke Children’s Hospital NICU and PICU’s babies and families,” said Carta. “In only a year and a half being able to raise more than $35,000 is a huge success that wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing donors behind it and their commitment.”
Both programs advanced to the 2019 NCAA Championship with the women’s team collecting their seventh NCAA title in school history. The men’s team placed 25th overall.
“It’s a project that will last forever and I hope with time will grow even bigger,” added Carta. “We made a lot of progress since last year but a lot of work is left to do! I’m looking forward for both teams (women’s golf and men’s golf) to raise even more money in the 2019-20 season!”
Those looking to support Duke’s partnership with Duke Children’s can make pledges per birdie. Pledges will start at $0.50 and high pledge increments are welcome. If the Blue Devils register an eagle (counts as two birdies), albatross (three birdies) and hole-in-one (four birdies) they will count as stated. Each pledge will receive an autographed photo of the Duke women’s golf team. If you don’t want to pledge, you can also make a one-time donation to the program as well.
Duke Children’s is a 180-bed inpatient hospital within Duke University Hospital. The central outpatient clinic, the McGovern-Davison Children’s Health Center, is a 66,000 square-foot facility that is adjacent to the hospital, and that combines medical and surgical specialty services in one colorful, child-focused location. Additionally, there are numerous Duke Children’s primary care and specialty care clinics through North Carolina to care for the needs of children throughout the state. Duke Children’s is one of the largest health care providers for children in the Southeast, and the only children’s hospital in North Carolina to be ranked in all ten specialties by the U.S. News & World Report. Learn more about Duke Children’s online at www.dukechildrens.org or at www.facebook.com/dukechildrens.