Lurie Children’s Celebrates Most Ambitious & Successful Fundraising Campaign in Hospital’s History

Heroes for Life, a fundraising campaign for Lurie Children’s raised $675 million, exceeding its goal by $75 million and making it one of the nation’s most successful  campaigns on behalf of children’s health. The comprehensive campaign was critical in raising the needed funding for programs, services and the creation of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, which opened last June.

The campaign’s success will be celebrated at an event at The Chicago Theatre on May 15. Prominent Chicago civic and philanthropic leader Lester Crown also will be presented with the Children’s Trust Award for his commitment to Lurie Children’s and children worldwide. Crown, the hospital’s longest serving Board member, also served as one of the honorary chairs of the campaign.

“We are so grateful to the more than 250,000 donors who shared our vision for the future of pediatric medicine and science,” said Thomas J. Sullivan, President, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Foundation. Gifts came in all sizes from $10 to a $100 million gift from philanthropist Ann Lurie, the single largest gift in the hospital’s history.”  

Formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, the facility moved from its 130-year Lincoln Park home to downtown Chicago on June 9, 2012. The state-of-the-art children’s hospital is now on the campus of its medical partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  

“Since our move to the medical campus we have been able to recruit more than 53 top pediatric specialists,” said Patrick M. Magoon, President and CEO of Lurie Children’s. “We’ve also more than doubled our research capabilities with a new dedicated Clinical Research Unit. Clearly this new facility in this location is helping to further our mission to provide superior care to the region’s most critically ill and injured children.”

In addition to celebrating the successful eight-year fundraising campaign, the hospital will honor Lester Crown with the Children’s Trust Award, which is presented by the hospital to an individual whose dedication to and efforts on behalf of children have made a major impact on the nation and the world.  

“While the reach of Lester Crown’s leadership and generosity is global, perhaps nowhere is it more evident than at Lurie Children’s where he has served on our board since 1965,” said J. Christopher Reyes, Lurie Children’s chairman of the Board of Directors and campaign co-chair. “His dedication and vision have helped make this hospital one of the premier pediatric medical centers in the country.”  

Crown’s civic commitment has inspired subsequent generations of the Crown family. Named for the family, the Crown Sky Garden​ – a 5,000 square foot healing garden on the hospital’s 11th floor that serves as a respite for patients, families and staff – benefited greatly from the vision and leadership of daughter-in-law Paula Crown, who is a senior director on the boards of the hospital and foundation. The Crown family has also endowed the Crown Family Professorship in Pediatrics and the Crown Family Research Scholar in Developmental Biology at Lurie Children’s. The Crown family is a past recipient of the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for their sustained records of philanthropic giving.  

The Children’s Trust Award, established in 1988, is an exclusive award that is bestowed upon those individuals whose work is of such magnitude that millions of young people have benefitted. Past recipients include former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and children’s TV legend Fred Rogers.   

“We will be celebrating Lester Crown’s achievements and the end of our campaign,” said Reyes. “It’s that type of commitment from our civic leaders and from the community that is critical in helping us to provide access to superior pediatric care for children in Chicago and throughout our region, especially in today's increasingly challenging health care environment.”

The Heroes for Life campaign event will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. at The Chicago Theatre. Legendary entertainer and musician Michael Feinstein will perform.  

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital, is a 23-story, state-of-the-art hospital located in downtown Chicago on the campus of its academic partner, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Lurie Children’s is ranked as one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals in the U.S.News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll rankings. Lurie Children’s provides pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. The hospital relies on philanthropic support to care for more than 149,000 children each year.​

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