Christmas came early to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital's pediatrics unit Wednesday.
You can forgive the nurses and administrators at Lawrence Memorial Hospital's pediatrics unit for looking forward to St. Patrick's Day, even before Christmas is upon them.
A $175,000 renovation project at the second-floor unit will receive a boost from the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee, who chose it as the recipient of the annual auction, parade and related events.
"We're just thrilled to be the recipient of this wonderful gift," said Isabel Schmedemann, maternal/child nursing director. "This is one of the most rewarding days in my nursing career, to know that there is this wonderful support out in the community."
Every year, the St. Patrick's Day Committee picks a child-related project to receive proceeds from the parade and auction. Earlier this year, the committee gave the Brookcreek Learning Center at Cordley School $13,000 for a playground.
On Wednesday, committee members met at the pediatrics unit to announce their intention to kick in money for the hospital's "Code Red 4 Kids" project. Renovation plans include new carpet, a lowered counter at the nurses' station so children can see the staff, larger recliners for parents staying the night and beds made for children, not adults. The unit, in a hospital wing built in 1969, has nine rooms and space for up to 18 patients.
On Tuesday, committee members dropped off two televisions, a Nintendo 64 video game system and two VCRs. Hanna's Appliance & TV donated the VCRs.
"It's very exciting to all of us," said Kathy Clausing, chief development officer for the LMH Endowment Assn., which is sponsoring the renovation project. "This is a significant start in the right direction."
Committee chair Gene Shaughnessy said that 12 groups submitted proposals to the committee and that the decision was difficult.
"It's something we think the community should be proud of," he said about the renovation project. "We know this won't take care of all of their needs, but at least it's a start."
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.