RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU is looking for the community’s help to create a new mural and to raise money for a new hospital facility.

From now until Oct. 14, the Richmond community is encouraged to visit the Leave Your Mark fundraising website to make a donation of at least $5 per person and make suggestions for a painted mural on the eight parking deck pillars of the hospital’s upcoming Wonder Tower.

Richmond-based artist Matt Lively, who has previously painted art for the Children’s Pavilion’s Sky Lobby and the Virginia Treatment Center for Children, will be bringing the murals to life featuring the theme of Virginia-native animals “doing outlandish activities.” The hospital is welcoming community members to suggest everything from “otters eating ice cream to bears blowing bubbles.”

“I am hoping to be flooded with challenging, silly and out-of-the-box suggestions from kids and families all over the region,” Lively said. “If you suggest a fox wearing six hats on a unicycle, then that’s what I’ll paint. I can’t wait to help the community make its mark on The Children’s Hospital of Richmond forever while simultaneously leaving my own mark in the process.”  

Lively will make the final call on all suggestions, but for every donation received, the donor’s name will be incorporated into the final mural.  

Lauren Moore, CEO and president of Children’s Hospital Foundation, hopes this campaign will not just be a chance to add something beautiful to the hospital, but to encourage people to donate what they can and remember that every gift — big or small — makes a difference.

“We know that so many people care about The Children’s Hospital of Richmond and we also know that not everyone can afford to make large donations,” Moore said. “This campaign allows everyone to show their love for The Children’s Hospital of Richmond and give the gift of comforting art to everyone who comes through our doors.”

The mural campaign is just one part of a six-week fundraising campaign that is raising money for the hospital’s new Wonder Tower, which is set to open in the spring of 2023.

Upon completion, the Wonder Tower will be 16 stories high and include a pediatric trauma center, emergency room, private patient rooms and a kid-friendly design, all connected to The Children’s Hospital of Richmond’s outpatient Children’s Pavilion.