HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital announced today the Marine Corps League Military Order of the Devil Dogs (MODD) donated $70,000 to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital. The MODD is the Fun and Honor Society of the Marine Corps League.
MODD members visited the hospital today to present the check. The Honorable 59th Chief Devil Dog CDD Tom Hazlett said it is the group’s largest donation to date. “This is a testament to the hardworking Dogs of our Order, especially during a pandemic,” he said.
Making donations to children's hospitals is something the MODD has been doing for more than 30 years. As this year's Marine Corps League’s national convention is in Springfield, the MODD selected the NICU at St. John’s Children’s Hospital as the recipient of this year’s funds. The MODD is holding its 81st “Supreme Growl” – or anniversary meeting – this year.
"Every year we make a donation from our special hospital fund, or 'Passport Fund,' and that money goes to the local hospital of our choice," Hazlett said. "When we go to a meeting or a “Growl,” we get a stamp in our 'passport,' and it costs a dollar. Every dollar that is raised through our membership by going to local or state meetings goes to that fund. We also hold various fundraising activities throughout the year."
The newly expanded, family centered NICU opened in March. It features single family rooms where parents can stay overnight, expanded rooms that allow NICU twins and their families to stay together and more. As the only level III NICU in the region, the hospital cares for about 700 babies annually from 39 counties across an approximate 80-mile radius.
“It’s donations like these that enable us to provide the very best care for premature and seriously ill infants and their families,” said Beverly Neisler, chief development officer for HSHS St. John’s Foundation.