This past March, Lee County elementary school students collected coins in a show of solidarity with Southwest Florida children who need expanded services for their medical and lifesaving treatments.
A total of $7,414.65 was collected through The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools.
Seventy-five percent of the donation will be matched "penny for penny" by Mr. B. Thomas Golisano's generous $20 million matching challenge grant and will support construction of a new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida being built on the grounds of HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers.
The remaining 25 percent of the donation will support Lee County School's STEM@Work Program which gives students the opportunity to learn through involvement, internships and hands-on experiences with Lee County businesses.
"It was a joy to see students in our community work together to raise money for other children," said Marshall Bower, President & CEO of The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, in a prepared sttement. "We were honored to partner with Lee Memorial Health System to raise money for Golisano Children's Hospital, as well as our STEM @ Work Program. Through STEM @ Work, students will have the opportunity to visit the hospital to see what types of career opportunities are available in these fields. These students are our future doctors and nurses, and will potentially be the future staff of the hospital."
Jeff Kunberger of Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union stepped in as a partner on the effort and donated the coin counting machines free of charge so that 100 percent of the coins collected will benefit local children.
As a testament to the students' dedication to the coin drive, one family who recently lost their home in a fire, made a donation of $100 to the campaign.
Lee Memorial Health System's Chief Foundation Officer Sharon MacDonald said of the students' effort, "We are honored to have the support of Lee County Schools on this significant community project. The new Golisano Children's Hospital will house 128-beds and will provide new and expanded specialty services for the children of Southwest Florida. Every penny counts and having the children collect money in support of other children who need care made this a truly special gift to our capital campaign."
- Source: Lee County Schools