Lookout Update: Driscoll’s donation drives $3.3 million toward purchase of Watsonville Community Hospital 

The Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project is closer to its goal of raising about $63 million after announcing Driscoll’s fundraising match challenge this week. Driscoll’s is donating $1.75 million after the community raised $1.58 million. 

The Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project has been racing to raise the last $16 million it needs to close the purchase of the Watsonville Community Hospital.

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This week, that number shrank by $3.3 million after Driscoll’s fundraising challenge brought in $1.58 million from the community, meeting a $1.75 million donation from the Watsonville-based berry company.

“We donated to save Watsonville Community Hospital because our community’s health matters,” Driscoll’s CEO Miles Reiter said in a statement. “Driscoll’s would like to thank everyone that donated to help keep Watsonville Community Hospital open. Our goal was to jump-start our community fundraising efforts. Because of the community’s response to our pledge, we are pleased to donate $1.75 million that will accompany the community donations.”

Jasmine Nájera, Pajaro Valley Health Care District board member, said in the statement that donations ranged from $1 million to a $10 donation that arrived in the mail.

“Thank you to everyone who stepped up and showed their commitment to saving Watsonville Community Hospital,” she said. “This is the momentum we need to carry through over the next two months to raise the money needed — and we are well on our way.”

Earlier this year, a combination of state and local efforts convinced a San Jose-based bankruptcy court to sell the hospital to the fledgling health care district, one formed by unusually quick agreement in the California legislature. That action bought community leaders time, but the clock now ticks toward the deadline, a little more than three months away. The court set a purchase price of $63 million. With over $46 million committed as of mid-May, about $16 million remained to be raised — and that figure has now shrunk.

Several of the over 268 donors who participated in the campaign:

  • Blue Shield of California: $1,000,000
  • Dobler and Sons: $100,000
  • Watsonville Community Hospital Medical Staff: $55,000
  • Rowland and Pat Rebele: $50,000
  • Watsonville Community Hospital ER Vituity Providers: $50,000
  • Chinese Community of Watsonville: $50,000
  • Robert and Carol Simpkins Family Fund: $50,000
  • Connie and Tom Wilson; Sue H. Wilson and Family: $30,000

To donate to the fund, visit PVHDP.org.

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