“With the support of our donors, our vision has become a reality,” said Director of Development JoAnn Stock. We have created a truly special place, a place of hope, a place for healing and as you read the inscriptions on the pavers, a permanent lasting tribute to loved ones.”
Part of the project was funded through the sale of brick pavers. Those who purchased the pavers could leave messages to honor a loved one. The pavers make up the patio and seating area of the garden.
The garden has a natural look including a wide variety of plants and bushes, and a soothing waterfall that surrounds a seating area where patients and their families can relax together and enjoy the gardens.
Attending the dedication ceremony was Akron CChildren's Hospital President and CEO William Considine, who personally thanked the members of the Mahoning County Medical Society Alliance that took the lead by providing the initial funding for the project.
“Children's Hospital here in the Valley are built around three promises that have been part of Akron Children's Hospital for 120 years,” Considine said. “Those promises are to treat every child like that child is our own, we want to make sure we treat everybody the way we want to be treated, and we want to make sure we never turn a child away from our doors for any reason. When you have a place like this [garden] where you you can come and reflect on those promises, it adds energy to all our work.”
Following Considine’s comments, hospital chaplain Karen Ballard gave a short blessing and those present then were permitted to walk around the garden and enjoy some refreshments.
There were several families at the event, including Theresa Murphy and her three children ages 5 to 8. She said all three of her kids have been patients at the Boardman campus and she believes the garden is a welcomed addition.
“This will be a great place to come to and relieve stress,” she said.
The new Garden of Hope, an outdoor courtyard, is located next to the lobby in Building B.
Stock said while the paved patio section is completed with blank pavers, there are still a limited number available as well as naming rights that will help bring in more funds for the hospital. For information, Stock can be reached at 330-746-9122.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Attending the dedication of the Akron Children's Hospital Garden of Hope are members of the Mahoning County Medical Society Alliance who helped make the new serene garden become a reality. Pictured are members Sue Berny, Carol Sankovich, Donna Hayat, and Paula Jacubec.