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Guilds Pledge $4 Million to Prevent and Treat Child Abuse

6/24/2009 

The Guilds of Children’s Hospital voted June 24 to support a new $ 4 million fundraising pledge for The Guilds Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Endowment at Children’s Hospital Central California.

“They could not have chosen a more important area to support,” said James Meinert, Vice President, Foundation. “This will allow us to provide critical care to some of the most vulnerable children we see. This is a noble and touching cause and the Guilds’ commitment is outstanding.”

The decision was made during a meeting of the Guilds’ Coordinating Council.  Representatives from all 14 Guilds voted to raise $4 million over the next six years, bringing its total commitment to the endowment to $5 million.

“In 2008 they made a two-year vow to raise $1 million for the same cause,” said Meinert.  “That pledge will be complete in August of this year, a full six months earlier than planned. The Guilds are truly a driving force behind support at Children’s Hospital.”

About 3 percent to 5 percent of all Children’s Hospital inpatient cases are caused by suspected abuse or neglect. From 2004 to 2006, 34 percent of trauma cases for patients under age 1 were due to non-accidental trauma injuries. Children’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Program focuses on the education, prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse and supports advocacy for the protection of children.

“Our Guilds realize child abuse is a hidden disease in all aspects of our society, and it is through education and outreach that we can help protect our most vulnerable and innocent victims,” said Teresa Fierro, Guilds manager. “With this endowment, we will be able to give a voice to the voiceless.”

Over the past 60 years, the Guilds have become a vital part of Children’s Hospital. They are the largest financial contributor to the Hospital, having raised more than $20 million since 1949. This $5 million pledge is the largest single donation in the Hospital’s history.

It was through the fundraising efforts of the original Guild that Valley Children’s Hospital was built in Fresno on donated land. All proceeds raised through the Guilds’ fundraisers and activities are used to support much needed equipment, projects and endowments, helping make Children’s Hospital a center for excellence in children’s healthcare.