You've read elsewhere about the new Bayfront Baby Place on the third floor of St. Petersburg's new All Children's Hospital. What you may not know, during this season of giving, are the stories behind some donations for the medical suites in the new obstetrics and neonatal unit.
Officials report that naming rights have been purchased for 39 of the 67 suites. Numerous gifts were made to honor children and other family members: Those donors include Bayfront Health System president and chief executive Sue Brody; Bayfront Medical Center home health care chief Derek McGarvey; Indy Racing League driver Dan Wheldon and his wife, Susie; Laurie Harris and Valarie Nussbaum-Harris; Hillary and Douglas Cone Jr.; Dr. Kim Biss; Drs. Jose and Linda Prieto; Drs. Edward Zbella and Lisa Nemec; Drs. David and Julie Cheek Weiland; and Dr. Mark and Zenia Sanchez.
Patrick Marston's gift to name a labor-and-delivery suite was a wedding anniversary presentation for his wife, Hilary, after their third child was born in Bayfront Medical Center.
"He was sort of a perfect, Gerber-looking baby boy," Marston has said, "but then he started having these tremors. Specialists came right over from All Children's (Hospital). "He turned out to be fine, but the interaction between the two hospitals really helped us."
Another couple will remember their daughter. Tyson Grant, executive chef at St. Petersburg's Parkshore Grill, and Sommer Grant, a Bayfront labor and delivery nurse, have organized Life 24, a team effort to name a suite in their daughter's memory. Zoe, they say, means "life" in Greek; she was born April 4 and lived 24 days; and the medical professionals at Bayfront and All Children's provide 24-hour care.
"This being such a brief encounter with our daughter, there are few places that hold special memories to us," Sommer Grant said. "Our fondest happens to be where I work."
Donations toward the suite can be made through bayfrontbabyplace.org or parkshoregrill.com. The restaurant is auctioning chef's table dinners for eight each month.
Congratulations to community leader Mary Shuh, who received the Gayle Sierens Volunteer of the Year in Philanthropy Award at the annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon and presentation, held in Tampa's A La Carte Event Pavilion. The event is presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Florida Suncoast Chapter.
Mrs. Shuh was nominated by the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, where she is a volunteer, and, with her husband, Fred, a benefactor. In addition, she has been active with Community Action Stops Abuse, the Florida Orchestra, American Cancer Society, Help a Child, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast and Brookwood Florida. She is the current president of the Queens Court.
Valpak Direct Marketing System was the other Pinellas recipient, named Philanthropic Corporation of the Year for its commitment through financial support and volunteerism. The company was nominated by the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County.
Sandy Rief, president of the Duckwall Foundation, was the keynote speaker. Sierens, a co-anchor at WFLA-Ch. 8, Tampa, presented the Academy of Fundraising Professionals awards.