- Associated Press - Saturday, November 22, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa’s largest grocery store chain has donated $500,000 for the construction of a new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

The university’s foundation said Friday that Hy-Vee’s donation pushed fundraising efforts for the hospital over the $29 million mark, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (https://icp-c.com/1uP2Po7 ) reported.

The university and foundation are working to raise $50 million in private donations for the new $292 million, 480,000 square-foot pediatric hospital. The fundraising effort is part of the foundation’s “For Iowa, Forever More” campaign to raise $1.7 billion. Foundation officials report that the larger campaign already has raised more than $1.37 billion, or about 80 percent of its goal.

The foundation hopes to complete the $50 million building campaign for the children’s hospital by December 2016 - the same time the new hospital is slated to open.

In response to Hy-Vee’s donation, the University of Iowa Foundation is kicking off a thank-you campaign, called “Your Hy-Vee is Helping Our Kids,” that pairs patients at the hospital with Hy-Vee employees in photos and stories.

“It’s a strong reflection on the hospital staff that my family and I can look back on our experience with so many positive memories, despite it being such a devastating and life-changing event,” said Brad Waller, Hy-Vee assistant vice president of community relations.

Waller spent six weeks at the university’s Children’s Hospital as a teenager after a serious car accident. He has been paired with 5-year-old Paetra Sauer, a patient at the hospital who has been diagnosed with epilepsy and other conditions.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, https://www.press-citizen.com/

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