Young patients receiving treatment at Children's National, the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in Washington, D.C., began enjoying a 7,200-square-foot rooftop garden earlier this month, thanks in large part to charitable efforts made by CoStar employees.
CoStar Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Florance and his wife, Heather, joined First Lady Melania Trump and other dignitaries at a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the National Bunny Mellon Healing Garden for Patients and Families, which is dedicated to the First Ladies of the United States for their long tradition of supporting the hospital. Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the garden’s namesake, was a noted philanthropist and the designer and horticulturist of the White House Rose Garden.
The occasion marks the completion of a beautiful, safe outdoor space for patients; for CoStar, it also represents the largest employee-supported philanthropic effort in the company’s history.
Inspired by the story of a Children’s National patient whose last request was to go outside – an extremely complex and difficult undertaking for many patients due to the severity of their conditions – and the heroic effort of the care team to honor her wish, CoStar launched an employee giving campaign to fund the project. Enthusiastic employees, along with Andy and Heather Florance, who serve as co-chairs of the Healing Garden project, raised and donated a total of $2.1 million.
“Standing in this Healing Garden is one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences of my life,” said Andy Florance at last week’s dedication ceremony. “The fact that the CoStar family came together to help children experience the restorative power of fresh air and trees is simply extraordinary. It is also remarkable that the garden is dedicated to the First Ladies of the United States. The support given by every living First Lady, to this day, underscores the garden’s significance and the lasting impact it will have. We are proud to partner with Children’s National, and to have played a role in bringing an oasis of hope from a mere vision to this stunning reality.”