ELLSWORTH, Maine — Maine Coast Memorial Hospital announced this week that it has met a $500,000 fundraising challenge that will benefit the new F. Eugene Dixon Jr. Emergency Center Capital Campaign.
The goal was reached with help from hundreds of donors across the region whose gifts and pledges ranged from $10 to $75,000. The successful completion of the challenge gift was announced at the Capital Campaign Committee’s June meeting.
“We had a tremendous effort by the Campaign Committee to ensure matching funds were committed by May 31,” board Chairman Robert Merrill said. “Meeting the challenge was only possible through the commitment of the community who recognized the need for the emergency center project.”
The anonymous challenge grant came last December as the hospital neared completion on the new $10 million emergency center. The facility is more than triple the size of the existing emergency area in the hospital and includes 13,500 square feet of new space designed to serve 24,000 patients annually. The new emergency center opened on March 1, 2010.
“We’ve been so gratified by the support and enthusiasm the public has demonstrated for this project,” said Jack Frost, director of Maine Coast Healthcare Foundation. “So many people stepped forward with gifts at all levels to help us meet this challenge. More than 25 percent of donors to the challenge are first-time contributors to the hospital.”
The overall goal of the capital campaign was $5 million. According to Frost, meeting the fundraising challenge has put the hospital very close to that goal. He said the hospital hopes to complete raising funds for the project by the end of this month.