Judi and Bill Leonard, of Coto de Caza, made an eight-figure gift to Mission Hospital, which will name its soon-to-open cancer center in Mission Viejo after the longtime donors.
The Leonards first $100 gift was in 1999 in response to a direct mail solicitation asking for support for cancer programs and services. Over the past 15 years, the couple and their foundation have made 24 individual gifts, generously supporting multiple events and campaigns at the hospital, which has a second campus in Laguna Beach.
Their gift of an undisclosed amount is the largest single gift ever received by Mission, spokeswoman Carrie Arneth Miller said. The second largest gift received by the hospital was $10 million from Sue and Bill Gross in December 2014, to upgrade the Laguna Beach hospital’s emergency room.
Leonard’s career with Aramark, the world’s third-largest food purveyor, spanned 22 years before he retired as president and chief executive officer in 2004. He joined the hospital’s board that year.
The Leonards’ gift towards the 104,000 square-foot building will enable Mission Hospital to provide a comprehensive level of care that was previously unavailable, according to a statement from Tarek Salaway, the hospital’s chief executive.