|SARASOTA – An annual benefit will celebrate the lasting legacy of a beloved Sarasota pediatrician who helped vulnerable children overcome challenges in order to reach their full potential.
The Florida Center for Early Childhood will host its Annual Winter Gala: Once Upon a Time, formerly Festival of Trees, at Michael’s On East Friday, December 6, 2019. The event will honor the organization’s founder, Dr. Norman Goldstein, and commemorate 40 years of building strong children and families.
Goldstein was a beloved pediatrician in the Sarasota area who made regular house visits to thousands of Sarasota families and was often called “Doc Good Morning.”
Known as ‘Dr. G’ to his patients, he saw a need for wrap-around developmental services and founded the Child Development Center in 1979. At first, the center consisted of a group of community-minded citizens including an occupational therapist, child psychologist and parent.
Working from a small house in downtown Sarasota, the group provided speech therapy, social work and occupational therapy to children in need.
Goldstein retired from his private practice in 1983, but he continued to serve many local children through various non-profits. He stayed active with the Child Development Center which soon expanded to include early childhood mental health counseling and early education. In 2003, it merged with Family Counseling Center to become the Florida Center for Child and Family Development.
Dr. Goldstein touched the lives of so many during his lifetime that more than 4,000 people attended his funeral when he passed in 2009.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the incorporation of The Child Development Center. Now known as The Florida Center for Early Childhood, the organization works to fulfill Goldstein’s vision by providing a seamless delivery of services to the whole child and their family.
Guests attending the Annual Winter Gala: Once Upon a Time Guests will enjoy dinner, live and silent auctions, and entertainment by the talented Jonathan Cortez — all for a very worthy cause.
Honorary co-chairs, Dr. & Mrs. Rob and Diane Weiss and event co-chairs, Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Marsha Devitt invite you to support this special evening, which will include a tribute to the memory of Dr. Goldstein. To participate in the event or make a contribution in his honor, please visit www.TheFloridaCenter.org
About the Florida Center for Early Childhood: For more than 40 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education and healthy development for young children in southwest Florida, offering a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and their family. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders clinic.
For more information, visit www.thefloridacenter.org or call 941-371-8820.