By Deanna Atkinson McGill | Photography by Sarah Oden | Hair & Makeup by Lori Wegner | Wardrobe by Jamelih Kamran
The classic Dr. Suess tale The Lorax is beloved by families and comforting to children. It tells the story of the Lorax who speaks for the trees that are threatened with destruction. The Lorax exclaims, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The sentiment reflects the philosophy of Anita Middleton and her family’s devotion to the welfare of children. Her experience, both professionally and personally, make her a natural ambassador for Arkansas Children’s and a perfect hostess of this year’s Miracle Ball.
Anita remembers her time as a Girl Scout – cleaning parks and selling cookies – during the formative years of her civic leadership. This volunteerism coupled with philanthropy still motivates her today. She is an active member of Rotary Club 99 where she champions for local and global change. Anita stresses, “I continue to give my time and resources because our community has real needs. It is especially meaningful to see what Arkansas Children’s is contributing to our community and state.”
Early in her career, Anita worked as a registered nurse in the labor and delivery unit of Doctor’s Hospital before joining their family business Middleton Heat & Air. She recalls, “My love of working with newborns heightened during my time at Doctor’s Hospital.” She was introduced to Arkansas Children’s, like so many families, through the care her children and grandchildren received. “We have utilized the hospital’s exceptional services and resources for years. After seeing the amazing work performed by doctors and nurses, I felt compelled to donate both my time and resources to this organization.”
The Middleton family will welcome guests to Miracle Ball for a celebration of the holiday season and the miracles that happen every day at Arkansas Children’s. Friends and patrons will be transported to the 1967 Casino Royale 007 for a high-stakes evening of chance. Anita notes with contrast to the festivities, “We can’t leave something so precious as the health of children to chance. Arkansas Children’s is providing a better today and a healthier tomorrow for the kids in our entire state.” Proceeds from the ball are impressive and continue to provide funding for a statewide health system that reaches as many children as possible. From a single hospital location five years ago, Arkansas Children’s mission fulfillment work is relentless – “providing care close to home for Arkansas children.” Coupled with an awful lot of care and support, as the Lorax emphasizes, from generous patrons like the Middleton family – the health + future for children will continue to improve.