It’s not easy to upstage Santa Claus at an event heavily attended by children, but a generous legacy gift announcement from Bruce and Nancy Beeghly was all the buzz at the “A Children’s Holiday,” the 9th annual tree lighting event at Beeghly campus.
Hospital President Grace Wakulchik announced the Beeghly’s commitment to a $1 million donation during remarks given prior to the lighting of the tree.
“We are humbled by Bruce and Nancy’s generosity and thank them for their support,” Wakulchik said. “This amazing endowment gift will ensure that generations of children and families will continue to receive the care they need.”
Following the announcement, the Beeghlys joined children from Hitchcock Woods Early Learning and Preschool to flip the switch and light the tree. Then Santa arrived.
Dozens of families and children enjoyed visits and photo opportunities with Santa, family-friendly activities, craft stations and refreshments.
“I just love the Christmas spirit and seeing the little kids’ faces light up,” said Christine Givens of Youngstown, who attended the event with her granddaughter and great nephew. “We bring our kids and grandkids here to Akron Children’s, and they do a really nice job just letting kids be kids.”
The hospital’s Beeghly campus was built on land that formerly served as the childhood home of Bruce’s father, R. Thornton Beeghly. The family has supported Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley in numerous ways since it opened in 2008.
“We want to do our part to help the hospital in the future be able to continue to stay up to date and provide the best possible service for the families of the Mahoning Valley,” Beeghly said.
The Beeghlys’ gift will be used to support future growth and expansion of the Beeghly campus.
“We are grateful for the Beeghly family’s generosity, and humbled knowing that what was once their home is the home of the area’s only pediatric hospital,” said JoAnn Stock, senior director of development, Akron Children’s Hospital.