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Friends pledge to raise millions for pediatric heart facility

JACKSON — Friends of Children’s Hospital, a group of volunteers dedicated to Batson Children’s Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, has pledged $2 million toward the creation of a new Children’s Heart Center at UMMC.

The pledge was announced during a gala Friends event held at the Mississippi Museum of Art, “An Enchanted Evening, Presented by BankPlus.”

“The University of Mississippi Medical Center is pleased to continue our partnership with Friends of Children’s Hospital as we work together to raise funds for the new Children’s Heart Center,” said Dr. James E. Keeton, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “The Medical Center thanks Friends not only for this spectacular fundraising event but also for their ongoing commitment to the children of Mississippi.”

Funds pledged by the Friends for the Children’s Heart Center will be raised over five years through annual Enchanted Evening events, with BankPlus as the lead sponsor. Previously the group raised nearly $3 million for the Eli Manning Children’s Clinics at Batson Children’s Hospital through a similar signature event, “An Evening with the Mannings.”

“I’m delighted BankPlus can play such an integral part in raising funds for the new Children’s Heart Center,” said BankPlus president and CEO Bill Ray.

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