Since Carl E. Stotz organized the first Little League season 75 years ago, the Williamsport community has been vital to the success of the organization. To celebrate the importance of the community, Little League President and CEO, Stephen D. Keener, announced a $150,000 grant to Susquehanna Health to support the creation of a Little League® Kids Zone at the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Regional Medical Center. Mr. Keener made the announcement at the Little League 75th Anniversary Community Celebration at the Community Arts Center on Friday, June 6. Little League’s grant to Susquehanna Health Systems was made possible through the support of the Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation.
“Since Little League’s inception, the Williamsport community has provided unwavering support to the organization,” said Mr. Keener. “For our 75th Anniversary, we wanted to find a way to give back to the area. Once we learned about the Hospitality Inn project, we knew this would be a wonderful way to support the families and children who are undergoing serious challenges. We hope this new facility can provide comfort during a difficult time.”
The Hospitality Inn, located on the west side of the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, is often utilized by families and children visiting hospitalized family members, or by individuals who have been or expect to be hospitalized and need a convenient place to stay. Williamsport Regional Medical Center’s central location, in the heart of Pennsylvania, results in a very high use of the medical center campus by families and children both from the local community and from out of the area.
“Little League is one of the most important institutions in our greater Williamsport community,” said Steven P. Johnson, Susquehanna Health President and CEO and Little League International Board of Directors Member. “We are extremely grateful for Susquehanna Health’s continued friendship with Little League in support of this project, which will allow countless children, both from our community and those visiting Susquehanna Health Systems, a place to feel comforted in times of need.”
(Left to Right) Steven P. Johnson, President and CEO of Susquehanna Health Systems; Ron DeFeo, Susquehanna Health Systems Board of Directors Chairman, and Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Little League International Board of Directors Chairman, with the first piece of artwork for the future Little League Kids Zone at Susquehanna Health System's Hospitality Inn.
Since 2001, the Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation (TFK) has provided considerable support for the Little League Challenger Division® in support local Challenger programs. In addition to supporting the Challenger Division, TKF has also provided funding for Child Life Zones in urban-based pediatric hospitals. To recognize the 75th Anniversary of Little League, TKF granted Little League an additional $150,000 to allow Little League to support Susquehanna Health Systems.
“This year, as the Challenger Division marks its 25th Anniversary and Little League celebrates its 75th Anniversary, we are extremely grateful for the Teammates for Kids Foundation’s continued support,” said Mr. Keener. “This grant allows us to work with our good friends at Susquehanna Health and give back to the families and children in our hometown of Williamsport.” The new renovations to the Hospitality Inn will expand the center from one floor to four floors, including the Little League Kids Zone, which will give the children staying at the Inn a special area tailored for them. The project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014 and the entire renovation will cost approximately $5 million.