The Lee Memorial Health System Foundation has reported a gift of $1 million from Lee County residents Dave and Cheryl Copham for the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida capital campaign.
The gift will be matched dollar for dollar via the generosity of Thomas Golisano.
The Cophams are long-time leading supporters of both the Naples Winter Wine Festival and The Southwest Florida Wine Fest, in addition to numerous other charitable causes within Lee Memorial Health System and beyond. Their gift provides a tremendous step toward the goal of raising the $20 million needed to achieve Golisano's full community challenge matching program.
Golisano will match all donations to the capital campaign made prior to May of 2014. The matching program began in May of 2012 anonymously and the benefactor was formally revealed at a ceremony in October of last year.
The Cophams have tremendous confidence and regard for both the health care services as well as the business structure of Lee Memorial Health System.
"Cheryl and I support many causes, however, being able to provide lifesaving health care for the children of our Southwest Florida community was a cause we believe deeply in," said Copham. "The fact that all children are treated regardless of their families' ability to pay for care makes this gift truly close to our hearts."
Supporters of critical needs such as shelter and hunger, the Cophams feel that a much needed expansion to the lifesaving pediatric facility is vital to the health and wellness of the Southwest Florida community.
"The match by Mr. Golisano truly moved us into action and we wanted to make sure to do our part to ensure that the match not only reaches its goal, but it is our hope that it will exceed the goal," said Copham. "The opportunity to help save the lives of children from all five counties: Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades was an impact we could not ignore. Many causes help with one town, city or county, however this money will reach so many, many children. It's simply the right thing to do. We hope others will join us in support of these children who need our help."
"Dave and Cheryl Copham have been longtime supporters of Lee Memorial Health System and we are deeply honored to receive this incredibly generous gift," said Lee Memorial president Jim Nathan. "We depend on the philanthropic support of the community to ensure continued excellence in health care. Keeping children close to home for their health care is our ultimate goal and therefore the expansion of our current facilities is a must in order to achieve that goal."
The new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is the only comprehensive children's hospital between St. Petersburg and Miami. It will house 128 beds and many new specialty services and treatment programs not currently available in our area.