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Community partners make the hospital a better place for kids

A hospital stay can be a tough time for children and their families. But for kids at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, community partners are helping to make that time a little better.

Transportation Club of Minneapolis & St. Paul

For close to eight decades, members of this club have supported the hospital with gifts of time and money. This year the group made another commitment: it will equip all 96 patient rooms in the new University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital facility with a computer.

Transportation Club president Tom Krieger says kids in the hospital increasingly asked for electronics and digital devices, so the club responded.

“We figured that [computers] would give the kids unlimited access and fulfill a lot of needs for them,” says Krieger.

Don Stevens, Inc.

This Eagan-based restaurant and HVAC equipment distribution company recently agreed to donate all the refrigerators, microwaves, and toasters for the new hospital building. Each of the 96 patient rooms—as well as doctors’ lounges and other common spaces—will have those appliances.

With the new hospital’s upcoming opening and the need for the type of equipment that Don Stevens sells, co-owners Jim Zechmann and Dave DeSutter saw a chance to make a big difference.

“We saw this as an opportunity to step up for a very big cause,” Zechmann says.

The Valspar Corporation

Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company donated 3,600 gallons of its highest-quality low-VOC paint to coat the walls of the new facility and adjacent remodeled areas.

Mike Dougherty, Valspar vice president of communications and president of The Valspar Foundation, says the circumstances were just right for the company to be involved with its product in this meaningful way.

“How often is a new University children’s hospital built?” asks Dougherty. “We’re a Minnesota-based company, and we have a special place in our hearts for the U of M.”

To learn more about corporate partnerships and in-kind donations to University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, contact Elizabeth Patty at 612-273-8638 or

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