The charitable group for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has added a new pledge of $5 million to the expanded Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, bringing its total support so far to the project to $15 million.
The new pledge announced Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Children’s Charities Inc. enables the charity to receive a naming opportunity and so the pediatric intensive care unit will be named in memory of Dr. Bob Arnall.
Arnall, who died five years ago, was the second medical director of the children’s hospital located inside HealthPark Medical Center south of Fort Myers. The children’s hospital currently has 98 beds and a separate patient tower for an expanded children’s hospital with 128 beds is under construction next to HealthPark.
The seven-story patient tower costs $242 million and is targeted for completion in spring 2017.
“Our board felt that the new (pediatric intensive care unit) should be named in Dr. Arnall’s memory, in recognition of his passion, leadership and advocacy for pediatric health care in Southwest Florida,” Bev Cherry, board member of Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc., said in a statement. “As an organization dedicated to supporting children’s health care in our community, the dedication of the (the unit) is our way to honor his legacy and pay tribute to the man who helped establish pediatric health care in Southwest Florida.”
The charities’ signature fundraiser is the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and it has just completed its first pledge of $10 million for the hospital project.
The charity is the second largest donor to the building campaign, behind Naples philanthropist B. Thomas Golisano, who donated $20 million in a challenge grant that had to be met by community support.
To date, more than $95 million has been raised for the building campaign of $100 million, with the Lee Memorial Health System, which operates Golisano, intending to finance the remaining amount.
“I’m forever grateful to the SWFL Children’s Charities for their continued generosity and support for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida,” Jim Nathan, president of Lee Memorial, said in a statement.