$5 million donation will benefit sick children in the Gem state

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-20 20:32:39-04

A surprise $5 million donation Saturday will benefit sick children from all over the Gem state.

Construction crews in downtown Boise aren't wasting any time to build St. Luke's future Children's Pavilion. An excavation project to make room for an underground parking garage is nearly complete.

The four-story building will go up at the corner of Jefferson Street and Avenue B.

Along with the announcement of the big donation came the revelation of the name for the new building on the Boise campus: The Idaho Elks Children's Pavilion.

"This is what the Elks are all about," says Steve Meier, president of the Idaho State Elks Association.

St. Luke's pediatric specialists are currently scattered throughout the valley. The new pavilion will allow for all 27 specialties to be housed under one roof with the only exception being their behavioral and mental health services for children. The reception floor will have room for a Sibling Clubhouse, a demo kitchen and a center where you can learn more about a given diagnosis.

With Saturday's donation, the community has provided funds for $20 million of the $42 million project.

"We've been working on getting to this building project for almost a decade, and our partnership with the generous donors in our community makes it possible," says Dr. Kathryn Beattie, executive medical director and administrator for the St. Luke's Children's Hospital. "So, today is a day to celebrate that."

Meier says the large donation was raised over time and that all 7,000 members, statewide, contributed to the effort so they could help sick children get better. The fund grew exponentially thanks to investment accounts.

"It's not about me or the Elks, itself, it's about giving back," Meier says. "And that's what the Elks do, we give back to our communities and that's really what it's about."

The construction project should be complete sometime this Winter.