In 2003, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Assn. received more contributions than ever in its 35-year history.
The association, which had its annual meeting in January, reported net proceeds of $927,197. That represents an increase of $400,001 from the net proceeds of 2002.
The big boost for 2003 is due largely to the fund-raising prowess of the Hearts of Gold Ball, a biannual event that benefits the endowment association.
Almost 1,000 people showed up for last year's ball, which paid tribute to Lawrence philanthropist and developer Bob Billings, who died Feb. 13, 2003.
Proceeds from that event have gone toward building a cardiac observation unit at LMH in memory of Billings.
"We were anticipating that we would clear $150,000 from the ball, and we ended up with $440,000. That increase is because people wanted to do something in honor of Bob Billings, and they knew the proceeds from the ball would be used to enhance cardiac services at LMH," said Kathy Clausing, the endowment association's vice president and chief development officer.
"Bob Billings spent 26 years serving either on the operating board of LMH or the endowment board. That's pretty significant. The Lawrence community wanted to recognize that kind of dedication."
Donations raised by the association are distributed throughout the hospital, according to either a contributor's wishes, or as requested by LMH's administration.
From last year's contributions, $440,000 will support the Bob Billings Cardiac Observation Unit; $95,000 will be used in the oncology unit; and $19,746 will go to the LMH Oncology Center Resource Library, Breast Cancer Action and to provide mammography services for indigent women.
Additional contributions will purchase hospital equipment and fund scholarships, community education programs and capital building improvements and expansion.
"It all starts with leadership. The leadership of our board of directors and its dedication to the mission of good quality health care is reflected in financial results," Clausing said.
Scot Buxton served as the endowment association's president in 2003. At the organization's annual meeting, his duties were handed over to John Nitcher.
"Over the next year particularly, and in the years to come, the endowment association is dedicated to declaring the importance of our hospital to our community, as well as the importance of all of our fellow citizens to our hospital," Nitcher said.
"In LMH, we have something special, precious and unique. We therefore want to preserve and enhance the hospital for the benefit of all of Lawrence and the surrounding region."
In order of net amount, the Endowment Association collected its contributions in 2003 from the following sources: Hearts of Gold Ball, $440,000; planned gifts, $95,029; grants, $68,565; Penny Jones Golf Tournament, $58,625; investment income, $53,082; Watkins Trust, $49,230; major gifts, $41,200; employee campaign, $33,472; other gifts, $24,590; Holiday Appeal campaign, $21,658; Stepping Out Against Cancer event, $19,746; memorial gifts, $14,000; and seminars, $8,000.
Attendees at the annual meeting also briefly discussed possible plans for organizing a new capital campaign to support LMH projects, which have not yet been made public.
"We're in the midst of finalizing the plans for a major facility expansion that will in part require funding by a capital campaign," said Gene Meyer, LMH president and chief executive officer. "The facility expansion will allow us to better serve our community, our physicians and our growth."