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Published on October 23, 2006

$1 million gift takes campaign to new high

October 23, 2006

Sycamore residents Doug and Lynn Roberts have pledged $1 million to the New Hospital Community Campaign. With this significant gift the campaign has surpassed the $7 million goal and is now at $8.3 million.

“Building a new hospital for our community is exciting news and a very big project that we wanted to help in a significant way” said Roberts. Both he and his wife Lynn are lifelong residents of the DeKalb-Sycamore area.

“We are especially proud to be part of a project that will benefit the community where we work and live and that will have an impact on so many,” he said. “Our community is growing and the new hospital will provide state of the art facilities for today’s needs and tomorrow’s growth.”

Roberts said DeKalb County deserves to have excellent healthcare services. “A new hospital will give our community opportunities to build on our local expertise as well as attract new doctors and clinical personnel,” Roberts said.

“The size of the gift is meant in part as a vote of confidence for the existing medical community and for KishHealth System’s Board of Directors and management team,” he said.

“They did the groundwork to get this very significant project to where it is today. They had a vision, built consensus, developed the plan, selected the location, secured the financing, and presented a convincing argument to win approval from the state.”

In making the gift, Roberts also acknowledges his family legacy and the legacy of community leaders nearly 40 years ago who envisioned healthcare services centrally located between DeKalb and Sycamore.

Roberts was vice president of marketing for DeKalb Genetics and worked for the company for 25 years. He also served on the board of directors for the DeKalb-based international agricultural research company. The company was founded by his grandfather in 1917.

In the early 1970s, the company donated the 42 acres along Bethany Road which is now home to Health Services Drive including KCH, Ben Gordon Center and Family Service Agency.

“Healthcare proponents of the past had great forethought in creating a system that could one day do what we are now doing, growing into the next generation,” Roberts said.

Mike Cullen, chair of the New Hospital Community Campaign, said “We are very proud of this donation from Doug and Lynn as this is an incredible level of financial support for the hospital. They clearly recognize how important this project is to the system's ability to advance health care in our community."

Cullen also said the community drive is continuing to help support the project, including the “Etched in Stone” campaign where donors can sponsor bricks in the healing garden. "It is a wonderful way to forever have your family name engraved in a brick for all to see," he said.

The new hospital is on schedule to open in the fall of 2007. Information about the community campaign is available by calling the Kishwaukee Health Foundation at 815.748.9954.

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