$100 Mil­lion Goal Reached

Golisano Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal opens in April, fund­ing needs will con­tinue

Gulf & Main - - News - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT

The goal seemed hardly pos­si­ble―to raise $100 mil­lion in do­na­tions for a new chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal, or nearly half of the $240 mil­lion project cost. The com­mit­ment over five years was daunt­ing, those be­hind the ef­fort said when it ended in Novem­ber. The new seven-story chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal next to HealthPark at Sum­mer­lin and Bass roads opens in April.

But from the be­gin­ning good things hap­pened, start­ing in 2012 with $20 mil­lion from a Naples bil­lion­aire. More con­tri­bu­tions fol­lowed, many at $500,000 or more each, but most in much smaller amounts. Oth­ers gave be­cause can­cer doc­tors at the for­mer Lee Me­mo­rial Health Sys­tem had saved a young boy, for in­stance, his cir­cle on Sani­bel and Cap­tiva in grat­i­tude rais­ing more than $15 mil­lion. Lee Me­mo­rial has since been re­named Lee Health, the Golisano Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal of South­west Florida in honor of Tom Golisano, the Naples phi­lan­thropist who gave the $20 mil­lion match­ing do­na­tion.

Sud­denly in Novem­ber it ended in a shower of con­fetti, happy sup­port­ers ac­cept­ing fi­nal do­na­tions of more than $3 mil­lion. “This is the hos­pi­tal that you, the com­mu­nity, have built,” Skip Leonard said at the an­nounce­ment event that the $100 mil­lion goal was reached. He is chief foun­da­tion of­fi­cer for the Lee Health Foun­da­tion, the group charged with find­ing project donors. The

But from the be­gin­ning good things hap­pened, start­ing in 2012 with $20 mil­lion from a Naples bil­lion­aire.

cer­e­mony in the atrium at the Lee Health cam­pus in Fort My­ers was capped by a $2.4 mil­lion do­na­tion from SWFL Chil­dren’s Char­i­ties, another $1 mil­lion from South­west Florida phi­lan­thropist Berne Davis’s es­tate. Small chil­dren along­side the event cheered.

The ini­tial $100 mil­lion goal, Lee Health CEO Jim Nathan said, “Seemed mon­u­men­tal,” ad­ding that project di­rec­tors in the be­gin­ning broke the cap­i­tal cam­paign into more man­age­able parts, or “one bite at a time,” and then “be­liev­ing in the mis­sion.” Craig Gar­rett is Group Edi­tor-in-Chief for TOTI Me­dia.

Novem­ber’s an­nounce­ment ended in a shower of con­fetti at the Lee Health cam­pus in Fort My­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.