North Park Reformed Church
When congregants of North Park Reformed Church were looking for a special way to mark their church’s 100th anniversary, they decided to do something for the community. They chose to work with the Bronson Health Foundation to enhance two new pediatric sedation suites at Bronson Children’s Hospital. The church’s philanthropic leadership helped create a soothing atmosphere for pediatric patients to be in while undergoing painful and often scary medical procedures. Their gift gave rise to whimsical murals, computers and gaming systems, DVD players, sound system, movies and music, as well as functional items like furnishings and medical equipment.
Jean and Alfred DiMarino shared a lifelong interest in the arts as well as an interest in health and wellness. After Alfredo’s death in 2007, Jean chose to establish the DiMarino Healing through Culture Endowment Fund to recognize his deep appreciation for the arts, particularly classical music. Proceeds from this endowment help promote the health environment at Bronson by expanding the presence of music and other art forms through the hospital.
“My motivation was my love for Alfredo and trying to keep alive his enthusiasm for the arts,” says Jean. “I want the art provided through the fund to help patients feel healthier or happier than they through they were, just as Alfredo said the art at Bronson and his favorite music affect him.”
Collin Crandall and Jacob Baird
Collin Crandall and Jacob Baird of Vicksburg are unstoppable when it comes to Bronson Children’s Hospital's Room of Magic — a project the boys have been raising money to support over the last three years. The idea started when Collin, age 7 at the time, wanted to do something nice to help other children. His first fundraiser was asking family and friends to give money instead of presents for his birthday, raising $500. His friend Jacob joined him to help and the two set a goal of $10,000 for the Children’s Hospital. That goal was met in August 2010 after several fundraising events. To date, the boys have raised close to $15,000 for the room.
Their next goal is set pretty high: $10 million. As Jacob told a Kalamazoo Gazette reporter last summer, “We heard about someone who raised $1 million for a children’s hospital in Texas, so we wanted to beat it.” Their journey has meant so much to them that the boys recently wrote and illustrated a picture book with the help of some friends about their experience and presented it to the Bronson Health Foundation as a special gift.