Chicago philanthropist Ann Lurie, along with a committee of leading philanthropists and Chicago civic leaders, announced that $5.2 million was raised as part of the fundraising campaign for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago during a Gala Preview on Friday, April 20 at Lurie Children’s, 225 E. Chicago Avenue. Gala co-chairs were Lester Crown, Ann Lurie, Andrew J. McKenna, Sr., Robert S. Murley, Penny Pritzker and J. Christopher Reyes, who are also co-chairs of Heroes for Life: Campaign for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Among the approximately 700 guests in attendance were Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith, Chicago Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts, William Daley, David Axelrod, Scottie Pippen and Bonnie Hunt. Bombardier and Guggenheim provided generous underwriting support for the event.
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Guests enjoyed exclusive, first-look tours of the hospital, dinner and entertainment. Highlights of the evening included toasts and remarks by actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who served as the evening’s guest host, and a performance by musician Harry Connick, Jr.
“The goal of the event was to celebrate the completion of the state-of-the-art, 23-story building and to raise an additional $5 million for its fundraising campaign. We accomplished that,” said Lurie. “Philanthropy is the cornerstone of this endeavor, and when donors see the unique and healing elements of this facility, I hope that they will be as amazed and proud as I am to know they played such a vital role in creating it.”
Children’s Memorial Hospital will be renamed Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in recognition of Lurie’s $100 million gift. On June 9, the hospital plans to move up to 200 patients from Lincoln Park to the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where Lurie Children’s is located. The new location will enable the hospital to recruit top pediatric specialists, and its close proximity to Prentice Women’s Hospital will expedite the care of critically ill newborns.
“The new hospital will be the catalyst for a new era in pediatric medicine,” said Patrick Magoon, President and CEO of Children’s Memorial Hospital. “We are grateful to all those who are helping to provide superior care to the region’s most critically ill and injured children.”
The creation of Lurie Children’s has been a community-wide effort with more than 250,000 people donating to the hospital’s Heroes for Life campaign so far. More than 20 of Chicago’s leading art, cultural and civic institutions helped design unique healing environments that promote education and discovery for hospitalized children and their families.
“Those who attended the Gala are individuals who care deeply about the health and well-being of children,” said Lurie, who worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children’s Memorial. “Together, we have helped build a child-friendly facility that is designed to increase patient safety, to accommodate new technology and to make care more efficient for Chicago’s children and their families.”
Children’s Memorial Hospital is one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. It is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and one of only a handful of U.S. children’s hospitals with a dedicated pediatric research center. The hospital relies on philanthropic support to care for the more than 148,000 children it serves each year.