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Business Observer Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 8 years ago

Golisano pledges $20M

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Paychex Founder Thomas Golisano pledges funds for a children's hospital.

FORT MYERS — Thomas Golisano, the founder and chairman of Paychex, pledged $20 million to help finance the construction of a new children's hospital in Fort Myers as part of a matching challenge.

Golisano pledged to match any gift made to the fund for the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida through May 2014. The hospital, part of Lee Memorial Health System, will be named after Golisano and is scheduled to be open in 2016.

Golisano, a Naples resident, has contributed to several charitable organizations in the region, including Ave Maria University in eastern Collier County and the Children's Museum of Naples. Lee Memorial officials say they have already received $3 million as a direct result of Golisano's gift.

The Children's Hospital has raised $45 million so far and the goal is to raise $125 million. The projected cost of building the hospital is $191 million. Officials hope to break ground on the 128-bed facility next year at HealthPark Medical Center off Summerlin Road in south Fort Myers.

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