Health Care

Akron Children’s to Honor Tod Family, Watanakunakorn

BOARDMAN, Ohio — Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley will honor the Tod Family and Eleanor Watanakunakorn at the 5th annual Champions for Our Valley’s Children dinner to be held May 12 at 5:30 p.m. at The Lake Club in Poland.

Four individuals and organizations will also be honored with the “Children’s Advocate Award.”

The celebration will highlight Akron Children’s progress in the Mahoning Valley and recognize those who have helped to make it possible, including donors, volunteers, staff and community partners.

“In 2014,  2,192 donors contributed more than $3,114,000 to support our local programs and services,” said JoAnn Stock, Akron Children’s director of development. “We are so very grateful for the support of children’s programs and services in the Mahoning Valley.”

Since the opening of the Beeghly campus in Boardman in 2008, more than $13.6 million has been donated to support the mission of Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, Stock added.

At the event, special recognition will be given to Watanakunakorn for the support and generosity she has shown the local hospital. Her husband, Dr. Chatrachi Watanakunakorn, spent more than 30 years of his career serving as an educator at Northeast Ohio Medical University and an infectious disease specialist for St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

In 2010, she made a gift in her husband’s memory to establish the Dr. Chatrchai and Eleanor Watanakunakorn Fund for Medical Education, which provides funding to support Mahoning Valley continuing medical education programs.

After her granddaughter, Alexis Caroline Watanakunakorn, spent the first month of her life at Akron Children’s in 2013, she donated $1 million to help establish the newly-renovated Special Care Nursery on the hospital’s Beeghly campus.

The Tod Family will be honored as the recipient of the first-ever Champion for Our Valley’s Children Legacy Award. For more than 100 years, the Tod family has supported high quality health care in our region, Stock noted.

In 1891, Colonel George Tod Perkins donated property for the second location of the Mary Day Nursery, which grew into Akron Children’s Hospital. Soon after, Colonel Perkins’ uncle, Gov. David Tod of Ohio, converted his Mahoning Valley home into a hospital. Funds bequeathed from the estate of John Tod, the major benefactor of The Youngstown Hospital Association Nursing School, were used to convert the facility to Tod Children’s Hospital in 1972.

With the opening of the children’s hospital, members of the Tod family became impassioned advocates for pediatric care in the Mahoning Valley. Fred Tod was one of the new pediatric hospital’s founders, and his wife, Nancy, served on its Women’s Board for many years. Their daughter, Sallie Tod Dutton, became a member of the volunteer women’s group – the Tod Squad. Her cousin, David Tod II, also chaired the hospital’s annual golf outing for several years.

After Tod Children’s Hospital was closed in 2007, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley opened the Beeghly campus . The Tod family supported the hospital’s mission and vision from the start.

Four individuals and organizations will also be honored with the Children’s Advocate Award. The recipients, nominated by individuals from the community, include:  Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, St. Elizabeth Dental Clinic, Touched by Nathan Foundation and The Vindicator.

Tickets to the event are $50 per person. Tables of eight and corporate sponsorship opportunities are available. For   information, call 330-746-9122 or click here.

Pictured: Mrs. Nancy Tod

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.