Jill & Clancy Woods
Like many generous friends of Phoenix Children's Hospital, Jill and Clancy Woods are a couple with an admirable ability to see the forest as well as the trees.
As senior vice president of Infinity Broadcasting, which owns several local stations, including KMLE-108, Clancy has been instrumental in cultivating the KMLE Detour Golf Tournament, the KMLE Holiday Concert, and the annual spring KMLE Radiothon, which together have raised close to half a million dollars over the last two years for the hospital and its patients.
Jill, meanwhile, has invested the bulk of her time and energies in organizing the Emily Center Fashion Show, one of the hospital's most popular events and the major fund-raiser of the year for the Center, the Southwest's largest pediatric consumer health resource library. This year, Jill is chairing the Fashion Show.
"They've always gone the extra mile," says Steven S. Schnall, vice president of the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation, "not only independently, but as a couple. They are both exemplary in their commitment to Phoenix Children's."
Whether lending their support to the hospital as a whole, or to the particular needs of the Emily Center, the Woods bring to the challenge a shared sense of the fundamental importance of a children's hospital.
"Three weeks after we moved here," Jill remembers, "our daughter fell and broke her arm." Sitting with their girl in the emergency room of a major local hospital, surrounded by gunshot victims and other major trauma cases, was an eye-opener for the Woods.
"We had always lived where there was a dedicated children's hospital," Jill says. "We recognized that this town really needed one."
Clancy says he soon became aware of Phoenix Children's efforts to build a freestanding, pediatric-dedicated facility. "We were captivated by the interest throughout the community, and by the need. It was obvious this was something that would benefit the whole community."
As Clancy began committing the radio stations' resources to communicating the need for a freestanding children's hospital, Jill was invited by a friend to attend one of the Emily Center's Fashion Shows. She quickly recognized the vital nature of what the Center had to offer: a comprehensive pediatric research facility available free of charge to any family.
"We're a family that's research-oriented," she says. "'Information is power.' Every-one knows there are times when you sit in front of the doctor, and the information he's telling you goes in one ear and out the other. Being able to go and sit down and figure out things for yourself -- and if you can't, to have nurses and staff there to help you -- I was just so touched by the program and everything they did."
Soon, Jill was involved in every aspect of the Fashion Show event, and had Clancy working on it, too.
"We had the opportunity to get personally involved and make a difference," he says. "To combine a wonderful, entertaining event with raising money for The Emily Center (and) to meet a lot of people who work tirelessly for that program."
Jill herself is pretty tireless in her enthusiasm for every aspect of the Center, from the availability of materials in Spanish to the myriad resources on hand for children, to the ease with which those materials are available through public library connections all over the state.
"It's such a model for the rest of the country," Jill says. "Clancy and I have been talking about how we can network this and get it into all of the other children's hospitals around the United States, because it's just been so successful."
Clancy has managed to inoculate his radio staff with the same kind of enthusiasm for the hospital as a whole. "It's been very easy for our staff to get involved," he says. "The Radiothon is a good example. Virtually everyone at our station gets involved in making that Radiothon a reality."
He says the people at Infinity's stations have bought into the importance of a freestanding children's hospital.
"It's one of the benchmarks of a great community," he says, "and something that involves the commitment of every aspect of our community." While "having a world-class children's hospital" is something many take for granted, he says, "it's something that will only prosper because of the involvement of all of us within the community."
"The comfort level that I feel, walking in there," Jill says, "that if I were in there with one of my children, I'd feel safe -- every parent should have that. So we just want to keep the hospital up and running for children and their families, should they need it."
"Each time I visit," Clancy says, "I'm taken with the courage of the children, the commitment of the staff, the resilience of families who go through this experience. If our activities in the marketplace can make that experience easier for others ... that's the payoff, and it's something we feel blessed to be able to do."