Avera Announces Kirby Place Addition and Conclusion of Home for Hope Campaign
The Avera Foundation announces the lead gift of $1.3 million to the Home for Hope Campaign, bringing this campaign to a successful conclusion with more than $3.3 million raised to expand and renovate patient and family lodging adjacent to the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center campus in Sioux Falls. The Home for Hope Campaign launched in October 2020.
Jennifer and Joe Kirby of Sioux Falls are donors of the lead gift and they joined hundreds of other generous individuals across the Avera footprint and beyond, exceeding the campaign’s $2.5 million goal by more than 30%.
“Jennifer and Joe’s generosity will be felt for years,” said Dzenan Berberovic, Avera Chief Philanthropy Officer. “We are humbled by the inspiration they have provided to hundreds of others who joined us for this campaign and the thousands of families who will now have a place to stay while receiving lifesaving care.”
Last year, more than 6,300 people were served through Avera’s existing patient and family lodging in Sioux Falls as they sought care. Thanks to generous benefactors, hundreds more stayed at area hotels because existing patient and family lodging facilities were full.
Kirby Place, the name of the expanded patient and family lodging facility on the Walsh Family Village campus, will include 13 new patient rooms and will more than double the current lodging. In addition to adding 6,500 square feet of space, this project will connect two of the three existing buildings. When completed, there will be two facilities: Kirby Place and Ronald McDonald House Charities. Kirby Place will be a refuge – a safe and welcoming place where patients and families can take a break from the challenges of the world and their health care journey.
The Kirbys understand what it means to have a home away from home when going through a life-changing illness. Jennifer’s mother, Jacquelyn Frerichs, was diagnosed with melanoma cancer in her sinuses and stayed in patient and family lodging while undergoing treatment in Minnesota, where she lived.
“Kirby Place will be a home away from home that is safe and affordable for patients and families during a serious illness or medical crisis. It also provides hope and the ability to make the most of every moment, together,” Jennifer Kirby said.
“Joe and I both come from families who are committed to community and family,” she added. “My mother gave $10 each month to many charities her entire life. She gave of herself to people wherever she lived. This gift honors her and demonstrates the gift of compassion she had for others and what she taught me.”
The Home for Hope Campaign was chaired by Jennifer Kirby and Carolyn Cutler along with a 20-person campaign cabinet comprised of dedicated community members, Avera physicians and leaders. The campaign will transition to a celebration phase through a special “house warming” initiative. The groundbreaking will take place on May 20. The expanded and renovated facility will open in spring 2022.