Local restaurateurs Mark McDonnell, Peg Dalton and Phil Schreiber presented the check to Beacon representatives including Kreg Gruber, Beacon’s chief operating officer and Jen Tonkovich, BSN, RN, director of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

In a partnership that began four years ago, the Downtown Dining Association of South Bend has raised $110,000 through its Restaurant Week events for Beacon Children’s Hospital.

Representatives of the DDA presented the latest donation and check for $30,000 to the Children’s Hospital on Wednesday. Kreg Gruber, Beacon Health System’s Chief Operating Officer, offered his gratitude to the restaurants as well as the community for their generosity.

“The majority of our kids that we take care of are actually Medicare-covered kids. Meaning their insurance and coverage is through the state, and unfortunately the state plans don’t reimburse very well. So for us to be able to be able to provide the level of services that we can, support from the community enables us to do that,” Gruber said in a interview.

The funds come from the proceeds of the summer and winter restaurant week promotions.

Jen Tonkovich speaks to the media about the difference Beacon Children’s Hospital makes in the lives of the children it serves.

“I’ve been here for over 10 years, and every year it seems like the area keeps getting more and more involved with what everyone else is doing,” Paul Davis, Beacon Health Foundation gift officer, told the media in attendance. “That is just a fantastic thing, because everyone just holds everyone else accountable to make this place great.”

The press conference was held in the Children’s Hospital atrium, which some restaurant owners were seeing for the first time.

Following the event, Mark McDonnell, founder and proprietor of LaSalle Grill and LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern, Phil Schreiber, owner of Chicory Cafe, and Peg Dalton, owner of LePeep, received a tour of the Children’s Hospital from Jen Tonkovich, BSN, RN, director of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

“To be able to accommodate both parents staying at the bed side has been huge,” Tonkovich said. The new private rooms in the NICU, she added, creates “a much more healing and restful environment for the patients and families that we serve.”

Click here for the WNDU report, here to watch the press conference on WSBT, and here for the ABC57 story.

Participating restaurants in the DDA include: 
Baker’s at the DoubleTree by Hilton
Cafe Navarre
Chicory Cafe
East Bank Emporium
Fiddler’s Hearth
LaSalle Grill
LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern
Linden Grill
Render Kitchen & Bar
South Bend Brew Werks
South Bend Chocolate Cafe
Sunny Italy
Tippecanoe Place
Vegetable Buddies
Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar