FirstHealth looks ahead

Planning getting started for possible mini-drives, capital campaign.

By Todd Cohen

PINEHURST, N.C. [03.03.04] — On the heels of an $8 million Hospice drive and its two best fundraising years ever, the Pinehurst-based Foundation of FirstHealth is in the early stages of planning several possible mini-drives and a capital campaign.

The efforts could include mini-drives for a new residence at FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care, and for an endowment for a new hospitality house for patients and families of Moore Regional Hospital that would be built with funds from the $33 million-asset Moore Regional Hospital Foundation, a unit of the Foundation of FirstHelath.

A study to test the feasibility of the mini-drives, which could total $2 million to $6 million for the residence and $2.5 million for the hospitality endowment, could begin early next year, says Terry W. Mohr, vice president for foundations for FirstHealth of the Carolinas.

Those drives might be followed by a comprehensive capital campaign that could total $15 million to $20 million and begin in 2006, 2007 or 2008, he says.

That campaign would raise money for major capital projects for new facilities.

The Foundation for FirstHealth, the umbrella organization for four foundations with nearly $40 million in endowment assets, has nearly quadrupled its total assets, including real estate, in the past 10 years, according to FirstHealth of the Carolinas.

In addition to endowment, the foundation has deferred gifts, including charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, valued at more than $7 million, up from $215,000 a decade ago.

In that same period, the four foundations have funded more than $10 million in FirstHealth programs and capital projects.

The foundation, which received $3 million to $4 million a year in new gifts each of the past two years, gets more than 90 percent of its support from individuals, and the remainder from businesses and special events, including an annual pottery auction that last year netted $140,000 for Hospice.

The main source of gifts is deferred or planned giving, with strategy developed and supported by a professional advisory council chaired by Steve Menendez, senior vice president, investment officer and certified portfolio manager in the Pinehurst office of Wachovia Securities.

Jimmie Garner, president and CEO of First Bancorp in Troy, has just begun a three-year term as the foundation’s board chair, succeeding retired executive Jean Souweine.

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