William S. "Bill" Belcher, All Children's first Hospital Board Chairman was a staunch advocate for the hospital and All Children's lost a dear friend and treasure when Belcher died in 1992. We honor his memory annually with the presentation of the Belcher Award at our Foundation Society Banquet.
When choosing a recipient for the All Children's Hospital Foundation's highest honor each year, the criteria are simple. The recipient must be someone who gave of their time and their treasure for the patients we serve. They must be an advocate for children's healthcare issues and needs, a leader who assists in the hospital's growth and influences others to aid the cause. This year's recipient certainly meets the criteria.
Darryl LeClair is best known to the community as the President and CEO of Echelon, LLC, a firm he helped found. Echelon is a private real estate company, and along with its affiliates, develops, owns, and manages commercial and multi-family real estate. Echelon has developed and managed over one million square feet of commercial office space, and 20 multi-family residential properties throughout the southeast and southwest United States totaling over 4,000 units. Echelon also offers a full range of brokerage services along with asset, property and facilities management. LeClair is also co-owner of Corban OneSource, a human resource outsourcing company with clients in 22 states ranging from divisions of the FORTUNE 500s, to regional mid-market companies, to major league sports franchises.
While much of what LeClair does is behind the scenes, he is recognized and respected as a philanthropist and impassioned volunteer within our community. Since 1997, LeClair has served on All Children's Hospital and Health System Boards, serving on a number of different committees. He credits his involvement to his love of kids - and to family that taught him "it's not all about me. What I truly love about All Children's can be found in its name. It's all about children. And it's there for all children - no child is turned away." His other philanthropic accolades are numerous, but we would be remiss not to mention that in 2007 he received the Distinguished Citizens Award from the West Central Florida Council Boy Scouts.
Darryl, his wife Melissa and sons Colton and Cody have found many ways to support All Children's, from donating funds and furniture to participation in hospital events. They even enlisted the woodworking skills of Darryl's dad Norman to create unique items for our VIP Auction. And, in a nod to his wife's love of the Pirates of the Caribbean, the family's generous pledge to our Capital Campaign will be noted on our Rooftop Play Area's pirate ship.
LeClair says he's most proud to have been part of the decision to build the new All Children's Hospital opening in December, a state-of-the-art facility that he predicts will enable All Children's to provide ever-improving care for years to come.
"Bricks, mortar and equipment are important," he's quick to add, "but you need more. You could build the ultimate setting, but if you don't have skilled compassionate people to provide expert care, you really don't have much. Likewise, you could have the best surgeon in the world - but without the right tools, what can they accomplish? Maintaining that balance is the challenge we continue to face."
Honored by the Belcher Award, LeClair says he hopes it will encourage others to step-up to that challenge and join him in supporting All Children's Hospital.