Keith Mardak, chairman and chief executive officer of Hal Leonard Corp., and his wife Mary Vandenberg are endowing a chair at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with a $1.5 million gift.
Endowed chairs help attract talent to the Wauwatosa hospital, and are established with a minimum gift of $1.5 million. Children’s currently has 25 endowed chairs, according to its website.
“Endowed chairs ensure that various doctors make Children’s their home,” Mardak said. “Hopefully this (gift) will do a lot of good for the children that go through Children’s Hospital.”
The gift stems from the philanthropists’ personal connection to the hospital. When their granddaughter was four years old, she received care at Children’s Hospital for a brain condition that ultimately required surgery.
“She recovered miraculously and lost nothing but a little peripheral vision,” Mardak said. “She is now a sophomore at Marquette … We saw what Children’s did for her and we hope that this endowment can do a lot more for other kids.”
The gift follows Mardak and Vandenberg’s recent contribution to ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a support network for people affected by breast cancer. Mardak recently issued a $2 million challenge grant to the Glendale-based nonprofit aimed at expanding its peer-to-peer support services.
Mardak and Vandenberg support a variety of causes throughout Wisconsin and nationally, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the United States Handball Association and the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.
“It’s all about the kids,” Mardak said. “Whether it’s through the clubs or through Children’s Hospital …. It’s all an extension of Hal Leonard.”