The Leon Levine Foundation Issues $1 Million Challenge Grant During Celebration of Levine Children’s Hospital’s 10th Anniversary


CHARLOTTE, NC— On Saturday, April 1, the 3rd Annual Levine Children’s Gala – presented by PNC Bank- welcomed over 500 guests to the campus of Carolinas Medical Center. In addition to celebrating Levine Children’s Hospital’s 10th anniversary, the event raised record net proceeds of $2.4 million to benefit the hospital.

In a surprise presentation to Gene Woods, President and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, Leon Levine, honorary gala chair, announced a $1 million challenge gift designated for the broad benefit of Levine Children’s Hospital.

“We issue this challenge for all the great friends and supporters of Levine Children’s Hospital, both those here tonight and others throughout the region,” said Leon Levine. “It is our desire to keep world class care for our children here in Charlotte and to take this remarkable hospital to the next level.” Mr. Levine then announced that his children – Lori and Eric Sklut, Julie and Howard Levine, and Amy and Alfred Dawson – had committed $250,000 to jump-start the match.

The challenge was met with great enthusiasm by gala guests, including representatives from Levine Children’s Hospital, as well as national and local celebrities, athletes, philanthropists, and corporate supporters. In addition to PNC, major gala sponsors were UTC Aerospace, SunEnergy1, US Trust, Barings, and Brighthouse Financial. Actress Angie Harmon, along with Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, co-emceed the event.

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed silent and live auctions as well as performances by several pediatric patients who have faced uphill medical battles in their young lives, including kidney disease, a heart transplant, GI issues, and spina bifida. WBTV’s evening anchor Molly Grantham, known for “Molly’s Kids,” her trademark coverage of local children’s medical battles, interviewed each of the children.

Rick and Linda Hendrick, who supported the original campaign for Levine Children’s Hospital with a multimillion dollar gift in memory of their son Ricky Hendrick, offered the evening’s second big surprise, announcing a $750,000 gift to complete the match – all in one evening. Other donors also made substantial gifts, allowing the hospital to exceed the challenge amount.


The gala concluded with a performance by headline entertainment group, American Authors, followed by a silent disco dance.

The gala organizing committee included Candy and Darren Bing, Amy and Alfred Dawson, Angie Harmon, Katie and Matt Burge, Sherrard and John Georgius, Stephanie and David Gitlin, Mandy and Todd Houser, Emily and Tyler Johnson, Kara and Greg Olsen, Ana and Manuel Rey, Tiffany and Scott Smith, Ann and Michael Tarwater, and Amy and Martin Welton.