Celebrating more than 50 years of support for Children’s Medical Center, the Dallas and Legacy Chapters of the Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s Medical Center recently announced their 2013-2014 gifts. To date, the Women’s Auxiliary has provided more than $18 million to Children’s and boasts more than 800 members.
Each year the Women’s Auxiliary raises funds to support specific needs of the hospitals. A summary of the 2013-2014 gifts are listed below:
Ric and Debbie Scripps have embodied the Children’s Medical Center mission, "To Make Life Better for Children", through volunteering, board leadership, and philanthropy since 1982.
The hope they bring to Children’s stems from their experience at a pediatric hospital in Minnesota when their youngest son, Andy, was treated in the neonatal intensive care unit. That experience motivated Debbie to volunteer at Children’s when the family moved to Dallas.
Volunteering at Children’s soon became a passion for her, and her dedication to the hospital was cemented when she volunteered at a weeklong camp for patients. She ultimately proclaimed that she would volunteer at the hospital "until I can’t walk anymore."
In 2002, the couple pledged $1 million to the WePromise Campaign for Children’s Medical Center to help support renovation and construction. Their generosity helped establish a dedicated neonatal intensive care unit, fund the purchase of new radiology equipment, and create an endowment fund in support of Child Life.
Mr. and Mrs. Scripps also served as Children’s Medical Center Foundation Board Members. Debbie chaired the Foundation Board and served as the president of The Women’s Auxiliary to Children’s. Ric also served as a trustee on various task force initiatives, including hosting potential physicians and their families when they visited Dallas.
In 2007, Children’s chose the Scripps as recipients of the Distinguished Service to Children’s Award, an award given annually to those whose service to the children of our community and to Children’s sets them apart from their peers.
The MMK Foundation, established by Mark and Marcia King to effect positive, sustainable change in the lives of children, citizens, and communities globally, recently announced a gift of $150,000 to Children’s Medical Center. The gift will help provide electronics, entertainment, and electronic technology advancements for the Gastroenterology department, Endocrinology Center and other program areas.
"Mr. and Mrs. King and the MMK Foundation serve as great examples of how our community plays a vital role in helping Children’s provide hope and healing to the children we serve,” said Pete Kline, president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of children who seek care at our hospital each year, I thank the MMK Foundation for their continued, generous support. We are deeply appreciative of the investment and will thoughtfully steward the resources entrusted to us."
Children’s, a not-for-profit hospital, serves one in every five children in the greater Dallas area and one in every four in the Legacy region. Donations from individuals, corporate sponsors and foundations help Children’s provide the best possible care for every child who needs it today and keeps the hospital on the leading edge of cures for tomorrow.
"Children’s relies on donors to make possible the care and programs that touch children’s health and their hearts,” said Mark King, founder of the MMK Foundation. “We have long been a supporter of the important work of Children’s Medical Center Dallas and are pleased to provide this new gift to assist the Gastroenterology department and Endocrinology Center who provide for children with digestive, nutritional and endocrinal disorders. This gift supports Children’s important work for now and for future generations of children in the Dallas area."
Children’s has been caring for children and their families for nearly a century. And, although many things change, one thing remains the same - the passionate commitment of supporters to help fulfill Children’s mission to make life better for children.
"We are so pleased to be able to touch children's lives and make a positive difference by supporting the important work of Children’s Medical Center Dallas and specifically the important work being done by the Gastroenterology and Endocrinology specialties," said Marcia King, co-founder of the MMK Foundation.
“What could the Children’s Research Institute do with $1 million?”
That was the question that Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge asked Dr. Sean Morrison, director of the Children’s Research Institute, a joint venture between Children’s Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center that opened in September.
“We will take innovative approaches to make transformative discoveries – discoveries that will change scientific fields and yield new approaches for treating disease. We will integrate teams of leading scientists and outstanding physicians whose skills are rarely found in a single laboratory,” Dr. Morrison answered.
That answer was music to the Baldridge’s ears. They had spent a great deal of time searching for a cause that would use their donation to make significant improvements in children’s lives. But their previous efforts to find such a high-impact project didn’t satisfy them.
It was only when Dr. Morrison told them that the goal of the Children’s Research Institute is to discover the therapies of tomorrow for children that they became excited. He explained that research at the interface of stem cell biology and metabolism has the potential to reveal important new strategies for treating diseases.
“One of our goals is to improve the treatment of childhood cancers by improving our understanding of the underlying biology,” Dr. Morrison said. “With the outstanding young scientists we’re recruiting to Dallas, we have an opportunity to do something special.”
The Baldridge’s gift will kick-start a study to develop new techniques for studying stem cell metabolism. The project will assess the extent to which tissue stem cells are metabolically different from other types of cells. The insights from this study could lead to new ways of promoting the regeneration of damaged tissues, and even to more effective ways of treating cancer.
They were thrilled to find such promising work with outstanding talent and leadership in Dallas. And when they learned about the potential for discovering new treatments for pediatric diseases, it became clear that it was a perfect fit for their philanthropic mission.
“We believe that the Institute will ultimately push the frontiers of pediatric medicine,” Jerry Baldridge said.