My name is Al Midgett and I proudly founded The Noblemen in 1995 after the adventure of having a premature son born to my wife and me in 1993.
My son Matthew was born May 6th 1993 however his due date was August 29th. He was born 17 weeks early and weighed only 20 ounces. The doctors gave him a 2% chance of survival.
After three weeks of life, during which Matthew was brought back to life twice, Virginia Beach General hospital made arrangements to transfer him to The Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia as a last-ditch effort to save his life. During the ambulance ride, Matthew went into cardiac arrest. The ambulance pulled over to the side of the road several times to resuscitate our son as we watched from behind, slowly losing our sanity.
The doctors at CHKD gave us little hope, and shared with us that he had a 50% chance of survival. Their grim news was good news for us due to the fact it was 48% better than where we started.
For the next three months we drove back and forth to the hospital in a zombie like state. Matthew received seventeen blood transfusions; he was suffering from chronic lung disease, brain bleeds and had countless ups and downs. He was improving very slowly, but he was a fighter and he made us strong.
On August 29th (my birthday) we brought our son home. We were scared to death because Matthew was still not quite 4 pounds. Absent were all the monitors that let us know he was ok!
In order to add insult to injury my wife and I had no medical insurance. The company I was working for had just been bought and I was in a 6-month waiting period for health benefits. I had set aside $5000.00 for the hospital bills. After Matthew came home, we received invoices from all of the hospitals and doctors that totaled just over $560,000.00 “A little more than I had in my bank account!”
Friends of mine decided to throw us a party in order to help us out with the medical bills. It was a great event and many attendees wanted to know what else they could to and whether we could throw more parties. Great intentions and great friends allowed miracles to happen and the debt for the most part was taken care of a as result of a policy change in how the company I worked for handled new employees and insurance! Life is good!
In 1995, I gathered my friends to create something worthwhile. Some people would call it a little voice from God and others might refer to it as a new-found intention. I only knew that it was time to take action in order to preserve some sanity in my life and to “balance the gift.”
That meeting took place at my home with some of my closest friends; though I was initially accused of starting a pyramid scheme since I was using a large flip chart, we did manage to create The Robin Hoods of Virginia Beach. We called ourselves The Robin Hoods because we wanted to remain a stealth organization and not let our egos get in the way of helping kids!
For the next 10 years we got to know each other as well as our community and explored unique and fun ways to host events and raise funds to support our mission of helping local kids. Armed with good intentions the group continued to flourish.
In 2005 we were contacted by The Robin Hood foundation out of New York City and it was strongly requested we cease and desist using the name “Robin Hood” due to the fact that they had it registered as a trademark! At first, we pushed back pretty hard however their resources far surpassed our own. The group worked with us allowed us to create our own new brand.
In 2006 we became The Noblemen and quickly trademarked the name to preserve it! We have enjoyed a rich history of Helping Kids. And Changing Lives. As an organization we meet on a monthly basis to discuss ways to support the children in Hampton Roads.
Please consider joining us as we host memorable fundraisers and work together enjoying the gift of helping others!