Pardee Hospital Foundation announced today that Brian Robinson has pledged $500,000 to the $6 million Capital Campaign for the new Pardee Cancer Center. In a surprise public announcement at the Pardee Hospital Foundation’s 19th Annual Women Helping Women luncheon on October 28, Robinson issued a challenge to the community to raise an additional $250,000, to which he would match dollar for dollar to reach a total of $1 million. This is the largest gift to the campaign since it began in April 2015, pushing the total raised to date to $4 million.
Pardee Hospital will open its new Cancer Center this December through an innovative collaboration with Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville, Wingate University and Blue Ridge Community College. The new, state-of-the-art health sciences building will also house Pardee Surgical Associates as well as existing programs in allied health care, pharmacy, and physician assistant studies from Blue Ridge Community College and Wingate University.
“Brian’s gift is unbelievable,” said Kimerly Hinkelman, executive director of Pardee Hospital Foundation. “Not only has he pledged the largest gift to date, he’s done so in a way that will inspire and engage others in our community.” Hinkelman notes that the campaign had already experienced tremendous success with numerous community donors, having reached the $3.5 million point mid-year. “Large gifts like this one are always a goal for any capital campaign, but what Brian has managed to do with his challenge gift is encourage community members who are unable to give a large gift to give what they can, knowing that their $100 or $200 gift will automatically become a $200 or $400 gift. That’s powerful.” Hinkelman added that within days of Robinson’s announcement on Oct. 28, the Foundation received 11 gifts totaling close to $16,900. Over two weeks after, the Foundation has received 15 total gifts, totaling $30,000 for a total match amount of $60,000.
Robinson is originally from east Tennessee and became affiliated with the region as an actor with the Flat Rock Playhouse many years ago. He only recently decided to put down roots in Henderson County to make it his permanent residence, buying a home in Flat Rock in 2015. When asked why this gift and why give to the Cancer Center at Pardee Hospital, Robinson notes that he’s been blessed with good health his whole life and like so many others, took it for granted. It was on a recent two-week intensive health retreat in California that Robinson says he underwent a transformative experience that at the time wasn’t apparent. It was only upon his return and a visit to the Cancer Center with his friend and capital campaign committee member Debbie Rouse that the true impact of his retreat surfaced. This behind the scenes tour was instrumental in Brian’s “aha” moment.
“I was so overcome and overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this place,” said Robinson. “I knew that this Cancer Center was going to be a place of healing – both physically and spiritually – and I wanted to be a part of it in a significant way.” Robinson went on to meet with Foundation executive director Kimerly Hinkelman; it was at that meeting that he came up with the idea of challenging the community to join in with him. Robinson and Hinkelman both feel that this is the pivotal moment that will bring the campaign to the finish line and engage the community in a new and meaningful way.
Hinkelman encourages the community to take part in this community challenge before the end of the year. When making a donation, please note that it is part of the Cancer Center community challenge to have all gifts matched.
Pardee Memorial Hospital Foundation was approved as a nonprofit foundation in January 1996. The Foundation exists to educate and inspire the community to support Pardee Hospital. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated more than $30 million in pledges and cash gifts for Pardee services. For more information, visit www.pardeehospitalfoundation.org or call 828-233-2700.