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It's About Building for Bruce and Lorraine Furness

“We met in college,” former Fargo mayor Bruce Furness said about the first time he laid eyes on Lorraine, his wife of 52 years. “I was a busboy in the cafeteria. She was a server.”

Lorraine didn’t have much to say to Bruce in those early days – at least not until the infamous gravy incident.

“I spilled a boat of hot gravy on her,” Bruce said. “That got her to notice really quickly.”

So it was a boat of hot gravy that fueled a lifelong love affair. Along the course of their journey, Lorraine and Bruce built a big family – four children and 11 grandchildren.

To these devoted parents, family always comes first, and by building support for children’s services at Sanford they have helped ensure top-notch care for all families. With a generous gift, the couple established the Bruce and Lorraine Furness Endowment for Children, a fund that supports services at the Children’s Hospital forever.

Their passion for Sanford Children’s goes back to the early 1970s when their daughter, Laurie, developed a medical condition.

“She was starving one minute. She’d take a bite and then be full,” Lorraine said. “It was the strangest thing. But the doctors and staff were really, really good. We had such great care.”

Care is just what they needed – and just what they got – from doctors when Laurie was diagnosed with type I diabetes.

“It all turned out just fine for us,” Bruce said. “We got such great care from the doctors and nurses. Now we want to make sure other families get the same kind of care.”

Bruce and Lorraine’s experience is why they are helping build a future in which children and families have the best care right in our region.

First-rate care is another reason Bruce and his wife continue to support Sanford’s efforts to build tomorrow today – and so others can grow up healthy, fall in love over spilled gravy and build their own families.

“It’s the right thing to do. A pay it forward sort of thing,” Bruce said. “There’s always going to be a need for charitable contributions for organizations like Sanford. And Sanford is a great corporate citizen.”

Click here to make a gift.

Posted Date: June 2012