Making a difference in the lives of others

Why donors give

There are many reasons why people chose to give to the Aurora Health Care Foundation in 2010. Many were so positively impacted by the care we provide, that they wanted to support our work with a gift. Others saw our work impact the lives of loved ones and the community. Whatever the reason, we are grateful for their support.

Four donors explain why they were motivated to give.

Tendick family support is multi-generational

Aurora St. Luke's Offers Tranquil Retreat
Patients and visitors to Aurora St. Luke's have a peaceful, tranquil retreat thanks to the generosity and vision of dedicated donors.

Located on the 8th floor rooftop, the 14,000 sqare-foot garden offers calming views of nature year-round, with a 4,000 square-foot conservatory housing trees, shrubs and flowers. The green roof aspects of the garden's construction also contribute to the environment, with a healthier air quality and retention of storm water.

Designed with ideas from patients and caregivers, the healing garden adds another element to patient care emotional and spiritual relief for patients, visitors and caregivers. The dramatic space also affords panoramic views of the Milwaukee skyline, Lake Michigan and Miller Park.

One of the major donors to the project, Don Tendick, Jr., chaired the design committee. The Tendick family's involvement continues on as a multi-generational legacy of dedication and support to Aurora St. Luke's.

"Our family's involvement with Aurora St. Luke's began with my parents, Donald Sr. and Rosemary, in the late 1980s and my father's position as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Lombardi Charitable Funds. After receiving treatment for a heart issue, my father became very attached to St. Luke's and saw firsthand the need to support its work in the community. The Tendick Center heart transplant area at St. Luke's was dedicated in their names in 2003.

My parents' philanthropic efforts had a profound effect on me, and I followed my father's footsteps into involvement with Aurora St. Luke's. My wife, Kathy, and I cemented our dedication to St. Luke's after her extraordinary care during both cancer and neurological illnesses. Our sons, Kyle and Donald III (Trace) and his wife, Katie, have begun their philanthropic support of St. Luke's, marking three generations of giving.

When the concept of the healing garden was proposed, I was delighted and honored to chair the design committee. I am so proud of the work that was done by the incredibly dedicated members. This very special place is available for everyone to use: patients, caregivers, community members everyone! It's a wonderful area for healing, meditation, spiritual renewal and rehabilitation. Visitors gain a sense of strength and faith, and it changes the entire feeling of being in a hospital setting.

When our family needed care, Aurora was here for us. We continue our financial support to the Aurora Health Care Foundation, particularly the programs and services offered at St. Luke's to help sustain and ensure their continued availability to the residents of southeastern Wisconsin."

Kim O'Keefe

Giving back at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center
"I first visited Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in the 60s with my father, who was a physician at the hospital. Since then, the hospital has taken care of me and my family in many ways emergency department visits, rehabilitation after surgeries, clinic visits and other hospitalizations.

Kim O'Keefe

Fourteen years ago, after battling cancer, I joined three high school friends who lost parents to cancer. We wanted to make a difference and give back to our community, specifically, the Aurora Lakeland Medical Center Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic. We wanted to give other cancer patients a better experience during their treatments. To date, we have raised and donated $405,000 for the exclusive benefit of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Elkhorn.

With Aurora's network of state-of-the-art facilities and health care workers, I am assured of the very best treatment possible. I want the best for my family and I take pride in giving back and helping to make the best available care for my community."

Dawn and Joe Colwin

In honor of recovery
"The people at Aurora's Dewey Center for Addiction Treatment really believe in what they're doing and, for us, that has meant everything.

Dawn and Joe Colwin

Dawn and I have been able to put the pieces of our lives together and understand more deeply our commitment to one another over the time we've been associated with Dewey. The staff has had a profound impact on our lives in more ways than can be expressed.

We give to honor those who began their recovery journey at Dewey before us. We give to provide an opportunity for those who will come after us so that they find the understanding and support in their struggle to free themselves from addiction that we experienced at Dewey. We give because we have received so very much."

Wally Waldhart"As a donor, it can be difficult to decide where to devote your philanthropic resources. With Aurora Health Care Foundation, the choice was easy for me. It is one of those rare organizations that truly makes a difference in the lives of those around us. The Foundation is a gift to the community."

Wally Waldhart, ACUITY
Resident of Sheboygan and an Aurora Health Foundation donor since 1997