Dupps family commits $1 million to Arkansas Children’s Northwest, capital campaign launch set for Aug. 5

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 233 views 

Construction of the estimated $165 million Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Northwest Arkansas is being heavily supported by area donors, including a new gift of $1 million from the Cynthia and Kirk Dupps family.

The planned 233,000-square-foot facility is underway in Springdale near Arvest Ballpark. The hospital foundation told Talk Business & Politics it will officially launch its capital campaign on Aug. 5 at the Color of Hope Gala in Rogers.

To date, the Northwest Arkansas community has pledged $27.5 million for the construction of local hospital. Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Foundation donated $8 million, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services donated $5 million. Will Golf 4 Kids and Color of Hope events committed $5 million over the next five years. The city of Springdale Facilities Board also approved the issuance of $85 million in low interest bond financing for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital building project.

The Dupps family also have deep personal connection to the hospital. In 2014, Kirk and Cynthia’s grandson Jimi was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Jimi and his parents spent more than 100 days at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Jimi is now in remission and ready to begin kindergarten this August.

“We know as a family how badly our area needs a children’s hospital. Jimi and his parents KC and Josef faced a three-hour trip to Little Rock for his chemo treatments and care,” Kirk Dupps said. “A children’s hospital that can be reached in minutes, versus hours, means a better quality of life for so many families. This gift is a stretch for us, but Cynthia and I feel it’s one of the most important things we can do. We are making the commitment to dig deep and make this our focus for the next five years.”

Dupps is retired from Wal-Mart Stores and spoke about his family’s relationship and passion for helping Arkansas Children’s Hospital complete the Northwest campus during the May 9 announcement of Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation’s $8 million gift to the construction project. The Dupps continue to lead the charge by chairing this year’s Color of Hope Gala.

“Arkansas Children’s is grateful to Kirk, Cynthia, KC and Josef for their leadership and for their dedication to providing a healthier tomorrow for the children in the state,” said Fred Scarborough, president of Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This gift will ensure children in Northwest Arkansas have excellent pediatric care close to home, because all children need Children’s.”

Arkansas Children’s Northwest has a $167 million construction, technology and equipment budget. It’s operational budget is $260.7 million, and over five years the total investment will be $427.7 million. Nabholz Construction is overseeing the construction for the new hospital that is slated to open in January 2018.

Hospital officials also said the ARC foundation is meeting with Northwest Arkansas families and corporations to assess their participation.