March Madness certainly lived up to its name in 2023. That meant the Guardian ad Litem Foundation’s annual March Madness Bracket Challenge was full of intrigue, as well.

In the end, UConn cut down the nets at the Final Four and the Foundation declared Jack Lomano as the winner.

The 2023 March Madness Bracket Challenge raised $10,272 to support programs benefiting vulnerable children in Southwest Florida.

“We want to congratulate our March Madness winner on his picks during an NCAA Tournament full of upsets,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. “The true winners, though, are the children and families that need our support.”

Beneficiary of March Madness Bracket Challenge

Proceeds from the March Madness Bracket Challenge support two of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation’s vital programs:

  • Children’s Needs Program: funding provides “extras” like birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets and registration fees for clubs and sports.
  • Beds for Kids: funding provides bed frames, mattresses, pillows, linens and stuffed animals so caregivers can provide a safe, comfortable home for children.

The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, supports court-appointed volunteer child advocates who represent children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare systems. The foundation represents children in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank sponsored this year’s March Madness Bracket Challenge.

March Madness Bracket

The Winners

Jack Lomano’s bracket correctly predicted three of the Final Four teams, both championship game participants and the winner. The Foundation used Run Your Pool, a verified online platform, to manage the tournament pool, which attracted 198 brackets. Participants earned points for each correct pick throughout the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

The Foundation awarded prizes to the top six finishers:

  • First place: Jack Lomano (140 points)
  • Second place: Gary Bayliff (131 points)
  • Third place: Karen Levy (124 points)
  • Fourth place: Richard Kushnir (118 points)
  • Fifth place: Sandy Hagen (118 points)
  • Sixth place: Barbara Berman (116 points)

Three of the six winners donated their winnings – Amazon gift cards – back to the Foundation to purchase necessities for vulnerable children in Southwest Florida.