As one of the Plano campus’ first and strongest supporters, Mr. Dardick has much to brag about, but he described his involvement as a partnership with others – and a learning opportunity for himself. He said he quickly learned to not simply ask for donations, but to present the plan for a new hospital as an opportunity for Plano.
“It was really about presenting a compelling opportunity to the community –” he said. “At the end of the day, you’re selling this unbelievable organization – Children’s. There are very few people I’ve run into who didn’t care about kids so it was just making a dream a reality.”
Mr. Dardick’s commercial real estate business reaches states on both coasts, but his philanthropic work has a very local focus. He gives where he lives, where he raised his children and where his business is based. When Children’s asked him to lead fundraising efforts for a new Plano campus he said it fit with what he and his wife, Jill, believe in.
“It was how we were raised, caring about family, community and giving back. It was just really something you can believe in,” he said.
Mr. Dardick chaired the Legacy Steering Committee which built community and business support to the new hospital. He immediately set the example with a large personal gift and made presentations to groups and individuals explaining that the 135 acres of land Children’s purchased years ago would be turned into one of the most cherished institutions in Plano.
Ten years later, Mr. Dardick says he believes it has paid off. He and his wife know many families who have had their children treated at the Plano facility.
“What’s impressive to me is not the size of the buildings, but we’re seeing something like 175,000 kids a year. That’s extraordinary. You ask yourself, ‘Where would all these people go and would they get this level of care?’” he said.
He said a point of pride is that the Plano campus has grown so deep and wide in the medical expertise it offers.
Mr. Dardick told his own experience of how he came to see what a thorough and serious institution the Plano campus is. He brought his teenage son in for his second minor concussion and thought it was time consuming to have doctors talk to him and his son separately. Then he realized that the medical team was going through every step to make sure that the boy’s injury really was from sports and not abuse.
“In that moment, I thought, ‘Oh, they’re doing exactly what they should be doing,’” he said.
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