Simpsons honored for donation

The newest building at Friendship Haven now has a name.

It will be called the John and Lin Simpson Health Center in honor of the Fort Dodge couple who announced a major contribution to the Friendship Haven Good Samaritan Fund at the fifth annual Legends Tailgate fundraiser Friday evening.

Julie Thorson, Friendship Haven president and chief executive officer, said the Simpsons’ donation is the lead gift in the “Dare to Imagine Beyond the Dream” capital campaign. The fundraising goal is $3.5 million, of which $2.1 million has already been raised.

The Simpsons have pledged to match additional gifts beyond their initial donation.

The amounts of both their initial contribution and the matching funds were not disclosed Friday.

“It’s a testament to the spirit of Friendship Haven that they recognize something special and want to be part of it,” Thorson said.

The couple decided to make the donation after seeing the facility in action.

“We like to change peoples’ lives,” Lin Simpson said Friday. “We saw the difference they’re making; it’s awesome, it’s beautiful.”

John Simpson was impressed too.

“It’s nicer than a hotel in Chicago,” he joked.

The couple are the former owners of Kingsgate Health Insurance. They said that the Fort Dodge community was good to them in business and they wanted to give something back to the area.

“It’s footprints in the community,” Lin Simpson said. “Everybody should try to leave something.”

The Good Samaritan Fund provides funding for residents of Friendship Haven who have exhausted their financial resources so that they do not have to leave. Proceeds from the Legends Tailgate event help support it.

During the evening, other events included live and silent auctions, a raffle and entertainment by the Dueling Pianos of Andy Anderson and Mike Leeds.

Thorson said more than 400 people attended the event.