00:00 AM

Donor Pledges Generous Gift as a Challenge Grant to Support Shepherd Center Renovation Project

ATLANTA (Nov. 18, 2009) – An anonymous friend of Shepherd Center has pledged a generous $1.5 million gift in the form of a challenge grant to support the hospital’s $9.8 million renovation project. The gift requires that an additional $1.5 million be raised by Dec. 31, 2010.

“This challenge grant provides momentum to complete our fundraising goal in a difficult economic environment,” says Bonnie Hardage, director of major gifts for the Shepherd Center Foundation. “It also doubles the impact of gifts toward the campaign because of the one-to-one match.”

Gifts to this fundraising campaign will allow Shepherd patients to stay in private rooms, resulting in reduced disruptions and risk of infection. “They will be able to focus on the most important thing – rebuilding their lives with independence, dignity and hope,” Hardage adds.

Earlier this fall, Shepherd opened a new, 35,000-square-foot space for its Spinal Cord Injury Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit. The unit is now housed on the just-completed fifth floor of the Marcus-Woodruff Building, a $53 million expansion project that opened in 2007. The new unit offers 35 private patient rooms, a rehabilitation gym, classroom and conference room.

As the renovation project continues, work is expected to get under way soon to renovate the second floor of the Shepherd Building to create an Acquired Brain Injury Unit that encompasses space in both the Marcus-Woodruff and Shepherd buildings. The project also includes improvements to Shepherd’s off-campus housing for out-of-town patients and their families.

“Shepherd continues to grow to meet the needs of our patients,” Hardage says. “But to grow, we still rely on community support. Because of the decrease in giving across all sectors, the gifts donors make today are more meaningful and have a more direct impact on patients’ lives than ever before. We understand that it will take more donors making very thoughtful gifts to make this project a reality.”

As of mid-November, Shepherd had raised $8.4 million in gifts and pledges, including the challenge grant, toward its $9.8 million goal. Those gifts include more than $163,000 given by Shepherd Center employees.

For more information on giving, visit or contact Hardage at or 404-367-1238.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.