“Playing from the Heart”: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Benefit Concert Association’s Annual Fundraiser

Headshot of HAWA president Jeff Ortman
Jeff Ortman, PE

For thirty years now, the Benefit Concert Association has produced an annual concert event to generate funding and support for the Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As a proud supporter of this organization for more than 25 years, HAWA is honored and pleased to sponsor this annual event. This year’s concert, with “Playing from the Heart” as the theme, was held earlier this month at the Sheraton on Capital Square in Downtown Columbus, and featured performances by extraordinarily talented children while raising funds to support the Heart Center’s acquisition of state-of-the-art medical technology.

This year’s youth performers were from HarpOhio. Directed by Mrs. Jeanne Norton, these young and talented harpists played several pieces, including the theme song from “The Sting,” Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer.” Additionally, students from New Albany Plain Local Schools, Bexley City Schools and Delaware City Schools donated artwork for a silent auction benefiting the Heart Center.

The keynote message was given by Mr. Tom Borowski, Global Marketing Manager from Discover. Jonathan Juravich, 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year and TED talk presenter from Olentangy Local School District, also spoke at the dinner about empathy and caring for others in the education process.

I’ve been on the Association Board for ten years now, and HAWA has provided system design services for multiple projects on the hospital’s campus, so I was then asked to provide a construction update on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital expansion for those in attendance.

HAWA President Jeff Ortman and his wife Erin speaking at a podium

Afterwards, my wife Erin and I were able to share our own Heart Center experience with our first child Thomas. Thomas had open-heart surgery in 2004 at age eight to correct a sub-valvular aortic stenosis. After a full recovery with no limitations, Thomas participated in wrestling and tennis in high school, graduated from Kent State University with a B.S. in Exercise and Physical Science, and was commissioned in the Ohio Army National Guard as a second lieutenant. Thomas has come full circle and is now working at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the Heart Center as a cardio-technician.

Thank you to our fellow event sponsors and our guests in the construction industry, Turner Construction, Project Control Systems and Array Architects. Thank you also to the musicians, artists and others who made this year’s event possible.

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