Broward Philanthropists Making a Difference for Kids Families at Joe DiMaggio Childrens Hospital

August 18, 2022

Laura and Judd Zebersky in front of Joe D Peds ER Registration Area

There’s an old expression that ‘success is not measured in the amount of dollars you make, but rather in the amount of lives you impact.’

Fort Lauderdale residents, Judd and Laura Zebersky, are an example of that, using personal and corporate philanthropy to improve the present and future for kids and families at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. The two, who lead the Sunrise-based toy company, Jazwares, have donated $2 million to the “Catch the Love” capital campaign to expand the pediatric facility, created a Lotsy Dotsy doll to honor the hospital’s resident clown and comfort patients in moments of uncertainty, and annually contribute a countless number of toys to provide hope and happiness to those hospitalized during the holiday season.

“Laura and I firmly support the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital mission,” said Judd Zebersky. “Not only are they a top-notch pediatric facility, but they also provide quality medical care regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

We wanted to expand our personal philanthropic giving to the hospital because putting a smile on children’s faces, especially when they are at the hospital, is at the heart of everything Laura and I do in business, family, and life.”

The Zeberskys have been recognized for their impact at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital with the naming of the Pediatric Emergency Department Registration Area and the Outpatient Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit. Their generous donations have also benefited the Lotsy Dotsy Fund, providing additional resources for activities and supplies that are used to entertain children.

“One of our greatest memories was making a very special toy for the hospital in honor of their most famous clown, Lotsy Dotsy. To see how the kids interact with the doll, and how it gives them the ability to feel just a little bit better, is so inspiring that it compelled us to want to do more,” said Laura Zebersky.

The Zeberskys found the outlet for their giving through the children’s hospital foundation’s capital campaign. The fundraising effort will underwrite a substantial portion of the estimated $170 million cost to expand the children’s hospital from four floors to eight, a construction project expected to be completed later this year. In addition to a leading-edge Child Life Zone, the expanded Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital will add state-of-the-art patient rooms, cardiac hybrid operating rooms, additional surgical and interventional radiology suites, intensive care and cardiac intensive care units, and an intraoperative MRI.

“The contributions the Zeberskys and Jazwares have made to our efforts is a testament to their sincere desire to help children and families in difficult circumstances,” said Kevin Janser, president of the Memorial and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundations. “Their impact is significant, both today and in the time to come, as South Florida will have one of the nation’s premier pediatric facilities to care for its kids.”