As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s been an emotionally and physically exhausting endeavor for everyone involved with the big move. Today, the hospital threw a going-away party of sorts for the employees. It all happened at the (now former) Children’s Memorial campus in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. It was a chance for our 4,000 employees to say goodbye to the place that we’ve called home for more than a century. Several neighborhood restaurants set up booths along Orchard Avenue, and served food to throngs of co-workers as they reminisced in the summer sun.
Around 6 p.m., we made our way across the street, and ascended up the ramp of the hospital’s parking garage, where they’d set out historical photos from Children’s Memorial’s 130-year history. Once we reached the top of the garage – which offers a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline – we were treated to a “going away” video montage that looked back at the hospital’s past (see that video below).
After Pat Magoon, the hospital’s President & CEO, made a champaign toast to honor everyone’s hard work, a “thank you” banner was unfurled from the roof of the old hospital. The crowd cheered. But wait. There was more! As we looked to the sky, six airplanes, flying in formation, made several passes over the heads of awe-struck, teary-eyed employees. It was an incredible conclusion to our move, and a memorable end of an era.