George Family Gives $1M to Arkansas Children's Northwest

George Family Gives $1M to Arkansas Children's Northwest
Robin and Gary George pose with their family, (back row, from left) Hayden, Bailey, (front row, from left) Beckett, Lillian, Campbell, Asher and Garrick.  (Keith Branch)

Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation announced over the weekend that Robin and Gary George of Springdale had donated $1 million to fund construction of Arkansas Children's Northwest hospital.

It's the latest in a string of $1 million-plus donations to the project. So far, $30.5 million has been raised for the hospital, which is expected to cost $167 million and open in January 2018.

The most recent contribution follows July announcements of three other $1 million gifts, from the grandparents of a former patient who was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, Premier Concepts LLC of Bentonville and another couple whose grandson received treatment from ACH for acute myeloid leukemia.

Others who have donated to the hospital include J.B. Hunt Transport Services of Lowell ($5 million), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Walmart Foundation ($8 million).

The chapel at the new complex will be named the Robin George Chapel in recognition of her longtime involvement with the pastoral care program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and in honor of the couple's generosity.

"Our family is grateful to Arkansas Children's Hospital for the care our children and grandchildren have received," Robin George said in a news release. "We are so pleased our support of Arkansas Children's Northwest will provide care close to home for families in the region. We hope the chapel at Arkansas Children's Northwest will provide comfort, strength and be a peaceful place for families during times of need."

Robin George has served on the Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation Board since 2002, and worked with the Pastoral Care Department to create a prayer list for patients that, today, is emailed to more than 1,000 people who pray for the children placed on that list by their parents or caregivers.

"The George family has a personal history with ACH and is deeply invested in making children better today and healthier tomorrow," Fred Scarborough, chief development officer for Arkansas Children's Inc., said in the news release. "The George and Evans family gift of 37 acres in Springdale allowed us to take the first step in building Arkansas Children's Northwest. With this latest gift, they are championing an essential element of providing a full spectrum of care close to home for the children in this region."

Arkansas Children's Inc. announced in August its plans to build a freestanding children's hospital in Springdale and released a strategic plan for growth a few months later.

Plans for the new hospital include 233,613 SF of inpatient beds, emergency care, diagnostic services and clinical space; walking trails, gardens and a helipad and refueling station.

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock, which has an office in Fayetteville, and FKP Architects of Houston are designing the new complex. Nabholz Construction of Conway is overseeing construction.

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