Kishwaukee Hospital gets $600,000 ‘challenge grant’

By Alexander Aguilar

The Kresge Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to community service, gave Kishwaukee Community Hospital a $600,000 “challenge grant.”

The challenge for Kishwaukee, also called the Community Campaign, is to raise $7 million for their new hospital by April 1, 2007.

The grant received a warm response from KCH, said Sharon Emanuelson, public relations representative for the hospital. “[It is] a wonderful opportunity for the community and an honor.”

The Kresge Foundation, which gave the hospital the grant April 5, is a well-respected nationwide organization that made an $800,000 donation to Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York last October. It gave $500,000 to the Center for Child and Family Advocacy in 2004.

The grant itself is more than an award, it’s motivation. The fund raiser John Marshall, CEO of The Kresge Foundation, said the grant was awarded to the hospital “to help leverage support from new donors and to solicit higher levels [of contributions] from past contributors.”

Still, the grant is a mere fraction of the total cost needed to finance the $102 million construction project. KCH has been raising money since before ground was broke last July and Community Campaign is only the most recent fundraiser.

Seventy-eight percent of $7 million comes from the combination of the Kresge Grant, a $1 million donation from the Kishwaukee Health Foundation, $500,000 from the Kishwaukee Community Hospital Auxiliary and $4 million from Pacesetter, Lead, Major and General.

This, in conjunction with the $60 million raised last fall via tax-exempt bonds and the $35 million in cash reserve, gives the hospital more than $100 million dollars to fund the project.

The remaining 12 percent of the necessary funding is going to come from more potential contacts and personal contacts of the hospital, Emanuelson said.

The $7 million from the Community Campaign isn’t going toward construction, she said. Instead, it’s going toward hiring more doctors and purchasing more sophisticated medical technology.

About 35 percent of the construction on the new hospital is done and the project should be complete next summer and should be open by fall 2007, Emanuelson said.

Corrections – published on 04/20/06

An article in Wednesday’s Northern Star titled “Kishwaukee Hospital gets $600,000 ‘challenge grant'” contained misleading information. The challenge for the hospital is to raise the remaining $1.5 million of the $7 million the hospital needs. The Community Campaign has already raised $5.5 million.