Efforts to raise funds to build the B.E. Smith Children's Center on the Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) campus received a significant boost through the 35th Annual Tiny Tim Holiday Fantasy event on Sunday, Nov. 20. The event raised a record-breaking $1,014,000 for children of the Kansas City community.
This year's sold-out event took place at the Overland Park Convention Center, with more than 1,200 guests in attendance to support the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center and Early Learning Center. Funds from this year's event will help build a new home for these programs in the B.E. Smith Children's Center.
The Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center serves children from birth to age six with developmental challenges. The Early Learning Center provides faith-based education for the children of Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) associates and physicians. The B.E. Smith Children's Center will replace the outdated facilities where the centers currently operate and enhance their therapeutic treatment and educational offerings.
Through Tiny Tim and the Children's Capital Campaign, the Foundation for SMMC has raised more than $10 million for the new center. Earlier this year, former CEO of B.E. Smith, Doug Smith, and his wife, Nan, made a lead gift to begin the fundraising efforts for the new Center.
"We are very grateful to Doug and Nan Smith for their visionary gift for the special children of our community. Their investment will make possible an extraordinary building which will change the lives of children with developmental challenges," said Lou Gehring, senior executive director of the Foundation for SMMC.
The Tiny Tim Holiday Fantasy event also honored Joy Cottrell and Grace Holmes, MD. They received the 2016 Richard V. Edmonds Award for Exemplary Service, which was created in 1995 in recognition of the years of leadership and service Richard Edmonds gave to SMMC and the community.
Joy Cottrell, RN, was instrumental in the planning and preparation for the opening of the Infant Development Center in 1972, and worked tirelessly alongside founder Lee Ann Britain in the early years of the Center. She played an essential role in developing therapy services for children and families.
Developmental Pediatrician Grace Holmes, MD, served on the staff of the Infant Development Center from 1973 until her retirement in 2000. She developed individualized treatment plans for each child in the program, a vital step in enabling them to reach their greatest potential. Dr. Holmes and Lee Ann Britain published numerous professional articles about the effectiveness of the Center and actively promoted its work at conferences throughout the country.
Both Cottrell and Holmes shared Lee Ann Britain's belief that children with special needs could lead fulfilled, productive lives and worked passionately alongside her to make the Infant Development Center a success. Like Richard Edmonds, they have made a lasting difference for the children and families in our community.