The C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Foundation has pledged $1 million to the Society's Hope Lodge program in Florida. The gift closes the Schulze Jacksonville Hope Lodge capital campaign and takes it slightly over their goal of $19.2 million.
In recognition of Mary Virginia Terry's largest gift to the Society, the lobby of the Schulze Jacksonville Hope Lodge will be named in her honor. Mrs. Terry, 98, is a longtime supporter of the Jacksonville Gala and Laureate Society. She and her late husband, C. Herman, are known throughout Jacksonville and the Southeast for their philanthropic efforts.
Most of the credit for this gift goes to Kellie Ann Kelleher, director, Major Gift Campaigns, who brought this to fruition through the careful cultivation of strong relationships and good instincts.
When she joined the Society in July of 2014, she was advised not to contact volunteer Carter Bryan, a long-time friend of the Mrs. Terry, who had stopped supporting ACS after 40+ years of giving and volunteering because he was upset about Transformation.
Instead, Kellie picked up the phone and asked Mr. and Mrs. Bryan to lunch. "I was seeking their advice because they had raised the money to build the Gainesville Hope Lodge in 1986, and later they made a leadership gift to the Tampa Hope Lodge campaign," she explained.
Within six months, the Bryans made a 500,000 gift to the campaign and signed on to act as elder chairs of the Jacksonville Hope Lodge campaign. And, it was Mr. Bryan who approached Mrs. Terry about making the naming gift.
"Along the way I learned to trust my instincts and let the relationships with these donors and volunteers be my guide," said Kellie Ann. "I learned not to be afraid of a 'No,' and to be more afraid of not asking."
"I think this story is a model of what the Society can achieve with the hundreds of other donors in our database who have capacity, been giving a long time, and would actually be proud if we asked them for a gift at capacity to do transformational support of our mission," said Tim Torgerson, senior director, Principal Gifts. "Kellie Ann raised $9.6 million in two years in a community where the American Cancer Society has not developed a strong major gift platform until she arrived," he added.
The Schulze Jacksonville Hope Lodge will be located on Mayo Clinic's Florida Campus on land generously provided by the Clinic. The facility will be comprised of 32 private suites, community areas where guests can connect with one another, and resources and information about cancer and how to best fight the disease. We expect to break ground on the Hope Lodge residence in 2017.
The facility will serve adult cancer patients who travel to Baptist Health, Mayo Clinic, St. Vincent's Healthcare, UF Health, Ackerman Proton Therapy and other healthcare facilities in Northeast Florida. The cancer center at St. Vincent's Medical Center is named for Mrs. Terry.
PHOTOS: Mrs. Terry is pictured in the large image, and Kellie Ann in the smaller photo.