GHS Honors its Donors


Jack Shaw, Mike Riordan, B.K. Bryan, and George Maynard

Greenville Health System honors its donors with unveiling of Philanthropy and Partnership Center

Nov. 20, 2006

Greenville, SC – The Greenville Health System (GHS) will honor its donors Monday night with the unveiling of a Philanthropy and Partnership Center that showcases the generosity and commitment of the community, with gifts ranging from $1 to $10 million and including thousands of hours of volunteer time.

The GHS Philanthropy and Partnership Center, anchored around a curved 40-foot-long interactive donor recognition wall, will be unveiled in the Greenville Memorial Hospital atrium at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The center, when complete, will include a history component showing how Greenville and GHS have grown together over the past decades. The unveiling ceremony will include remarks from Jack E. Shaw, chairman of the GHS Board of Trustees; Michael C. Riordan, GHS president & CEO; George F. Maynard, III, GHS vice president of philanthropy & partnership; and William “B.K.” Bryan, GHS Chairman’s Circle.

“Greenville Health System wouldn’t be the healthcare asset it is today without the long support of the community,” said George F. Maynard III, GHS vice president of philanthropy & partnership. “Community support – whether from private foundations, major donors or even an elementary school class that raises money to buy toys for our Children’s Hospital – is the bedrock upon which we began in 1912.”

More than 140 major donors, giving anywhere from $25,000 to more than $10 million, are recognized on plaques along the wall. All other donors are recognized through an interactive electronic kiosk incorporated into the donor-recognition wall. All together, donations approach the $20 million mark, said Maynard. The wall also includes tributes to volunteers with more than 5,000 hours of service, healthcare professionals and physicians contributing philanthropic gifts, and endowment funds that provide continual support in perpetuity. The high-tech wall, however, is rooted in the past, with the original seal from the lobby of Greenville General Hospital restored and incorporated into the flooring of the space.

For Greenville businessman William “B.K.” Bryan, giving to GHS has been a way of life for more than 20 years. He and wife Frances, longtime supporters of Children’s Hospital and Oncology Research Institute, have helped make the Children Hospital’s Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit one of the top NICU’s in the region. “This hospital system belongs to us, the citizens of Greenville County. It’s a precious life-saving resource, and we should nurture it. The hospital is a very special place, almost a sacred place in the human experience – in it we take our first breath and sometimes our last. Patients are frequently at their most vulnerable here. I see helping the hospital, whether through time or financial support, as an incredible opportunity to serve our fellow man,” he said.

One of the youngest GHS philanthropists is also one of its beneficiaries. Hunter Datko, now one year old, weighed only 1 pound, 7 ounces when he born four months premature on Aug. 22, 2005. When the time came to celebrate Hunter’s first birthday, the Datko family decided that, in lieu of gifts, they’d ask for a donation to GHS Children’s Hospital to “help a family of a premature child be able to celebrate their baby’s first birthday,” said Hunter’s mother, Mary Catherine Datko. That birthday cookout raised more than $600.

The victory is bittersweet for the Datkos; Hunter’s twin brother Carson died shortly after birth. “Hunter would not have survived had it not been for the incredible care he received at Children’s Hospital. He’s just our little miracle – and we want other families to have their own miracles,” said Mrs. Datko.

Clarence “Bubber” Hutto, a Jefferson Award winner, is one of nearly 90 volunteers whose donated time tops the 5,000-hour mark. “I do it because GHS is a great institution, I love working there,” said Hutto, a coronary-care-unit fixture known for both his kindnesss and the peanut butter and graham crackers he dispenses to people waiting to hear about friends and family. “I’m more rewarded volunteering here than by anything I’ve ever done,” said Hutto.

The commonality among all donors is their desire to help the greater community, said Maynard.

GHS partnered closely with DesignStrategies and consulting firm Robin E. Williams Inc. to bring the Philanthropy and Partnership Center project to fruition. DesignStrategies served as the GHS architectural firm of record.