Cel­e­brat­ing South­west Florid­i­ans

Mak­ing Waves is our salute to the res­i­dents, busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions of South­west Florida’s is­land coast who make the com­mu­nity spe­cial

Times of the Islands - - Departments - 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 Golisano Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal is lo­cated next to HealthPark at Sum­mer­lin and Bass roads. It opens in April. From the be­gin­ning of the cam­paign to raise funds for the chil­dren’s hospi­tal, good things hap­pened, start­ing in 2012 with $20 mil­lion from a Naples bil­lion­aire. Oth­ers gave be­cause can­cer doc­tors at the for­mer Lee Memo­rial Health Sys­tem had saved a young boy, for in­stance; in grat­i­tude his fam­ily and their friends on Sani­bel and Cap­tiva rais­ing more than $15 mil­lion. Sud­denly in Novem­ber it ended in a shower of con­fetti, happy sup­port­ers ac­cept­ing fi­nal do­na­tions of more than $3 mil­lion. 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.”

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