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Health foundation raises sights

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By Todd Cohen

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation in Fayetteville has begun the quiet phase of its first-ever capital campaign, which aims to raise over $1.5 million to expand the diabetes and endocrine center for the Cape Fear Valley Health System.

Foundation officials also are counting on the campaign, tentatively set to kick off publicly in August, to identify prospective donors and lay the groundwork for seeking major gifts and planned gifts.

“That’s where our growth is going to be in the future,” says Jim Sailer, vice president for development.

Formed in 1997, the foundation raises money to support the health-care mission of the health system, which includes Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Highsmith-Rainey Memorial Hospital, both in Fayetteville.

The foundation raises $700,000 to $1 million a year through two direct-mail appeals, a fall drive among its 4,000 employees, and grants and special events.

In last fall’s drive, employees pledged $174,000 to the foundation, over $164,000 to United Way, and nearly $106,000 to the Lighthouse Society, a fund the personnel department at the health-system created three years ago to support health-system employees during personal emergencies.

The foundation’s biggest fundraising event, the L.B. Floyd Friends of Children’s Golf Classic, was held in April and raised at least $150,000, up from $126,000 it raised last year.

Nearly 600 health-system employees also participated in the annual heart walk of the local chapter of the American Heart Association, raising $51,000, and ranking fourth among all health systems in the state that participated in heart walks last year.

“Our employees are very generous,” says Kathy Verkuilen, director of development for the foundation.

The foundation also counts on six advisory councils that help raise money for the health-system’s Friends of Children, Friends of the Heart Center, Friends of Nursing, Friends of the Rehabilitation Center and Friends of Stanton Hospitality House.

Sailer says the capital campaign will support an expansion of the diabetes and endocrine center, located in the Medical Arts Center the health system owns in downtown Fayetteville, to 10,000 square feet from 2,000 square feet, and will nearly double the size of its programs.

“Thirty percent of the people who come through the hospital as patients have some type of diabetes problem,” he says.

The expansion of the diabetes center is part of a larger renovation of the Medical Arts Center.

Capital Development Services, a Raleigh consulting firm, has conducted a feasibility study and will help oversee the campaign, which is chaired by Charles Holt, owner of Holt Oil Co.

To actively introduce major giving and planned giving to the hospital, the campaign will solicit donors who give to the foundation each year, and to donors in the community with ties to the health system.

A major-gifts committee chaired by Tony Cimaglia, vice president at Soffe Manufacturing, will help identify prospective donors.

The foundation, whose board president is John Buie, president and senior partner at accounting firm Buie, Norman & Co., also is creating a community advisory committee to identify prospects for planned gifts, or gifts that typically are deferred through wills and estate plans or use assets other than cash.

In addition to the capital campaign, Sailer says, the foundation wants to raise $3 million a year over the next three years, mainly through major or planned gifts.

Verkuilen says meeting that goal will require spreading the word about the foundation and its impact.

“We’re going to be working on bringing more friends into the foundation,” she says, “so our programs and services can be more well-known.”

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