The Guilds of Children’s Hospital held a signing ceremony July 7 to affirm a new $ 4 million fundraising pledge for The Guilds Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Endowment at Children’s Hospital Central California.
“There can be no greater legacy than to have as a goal to try to eliminate, if not substantially minimize, the amount of child abuse that we see each and every day at Children’s Hospital,” said President and CEO William F. Haug. “I thank the Guilds for agreeing to passionately support this very worthy cause.”
The decision was made during a Guilds’ Coordinating Council meeting on June 24. Representatives from all 14 Guilds voted to raise $4 million over the next six years, bringing its total endowment commitment to $5 million. The Guilds will complete its initial $1 million pledge in August.
“The pledge is enough to get started but it’s going to take the work of the Guilds, the Hospital and the community to continue the job in the long term,” said Guilds’ Coordinating Council Chair Tracy Lifer.
About 3 percent to 5 percent of all Children’s Hospital inpatient cases are caused by suspected abuse or neglect. From 2004 to 2006, 34 percent of trauma cases for patients under age 1 were due to non-accidental trauma injuries. Children’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Program focuses on the education, prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse and supports advocacy for the protection of children.
“We need to see those numbers decline,” Lifer said. “Unless we try to prevent child abuse with education and funding, it’s not going to change.”
Over the past 60 years, the Guilds have become a vital part of Children’s Hospital. They are the largest financial contributor to the Hospital, having raised more than $20 million since 1949. This $5 million pledge is the largest single donation in the Hospital’s history.
It was through the fundraising efforts of the original Guild that Valley Children’s Hospital was built in Fresno on donated land. All proceeds raised through the Guilds’ fundraisers and activities are used to support much needed equipment, projects and endowments, helping make Children’s Hospital a center for excellence in children’s healthcare.