Pictured left to right: Emily Bostian; George Bullwinkel, Retired SCANA Sr. Vice President, and Children’s Hospital Board; Dr. Cole, MUSC President; Danny Kassis, SCE&G Vice President of Customer Service and Renewables; Thad Bostian; Emma Grace Bostian; and Michael Bostian

Lineman & Daughter with Leukemia Deliver Baskets of Toys

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CHARLESTON, S.C. SCE&G today presented a $500,000 check for the new MUSC Children’s Hospital and Women’s Pavilion. The gift is one of the largest single donations in the company’s history.  Dr. David J. Cole, MUSC President, received the check from Danny Kassis, SCE&G Vice President of Customer Service and Renewables, and George Bullwinkel, retired SCANA Sr. Vice President, and Children’s Hospital Board Member.  Thad Bostian, a journeyman lineman with SCE&G, his wife Emily, son Michael and daughter Emma Grace, who is being treated at Children’s Hospital for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, donated two large baskets of toys from SCE&G for the Happy Wheels Cart, which visits between 80-100 children each week.

“Emma Grace is a very special example of one of the thousands of children MUSC Children’s Hospital cares for every year,” said Kassis.  “I often tell people that it’s really exciting to have a new Children’s Hospital building, Kassis said. “But buildings don't treat people; people treat people. This new building will match the same level of care the nurses and doctors and all the employees give to children like Emma Grace at Children’s Hospital every day.  They are the ones truly doing something special to care for these kids. SCE&G and all of our employees are so proud to present this check today and to serve a community where we have a world-class facility devoted to the thing that is dearest to us: our children,” Kassis said. 

Bullwinkel, who retired last month after 44 years working at the company, already serves on the MUSC Children’s Hospital Advisory Board, but will now be part of the Executive Steering Committee for the capital campaign, along with campaign chairs Beth and Darius Rucker.  “So many of our employees have children and grandchildren who have been treated at this magnificent hospital,” Bullwinkel said.  “Every child who walks through the doors of MUSC Children’s Hospital gets the very best care possible. We have seen miracles happen. It is one of the best Children’s Hospitals in the country, and we’re so proud it’s right here in our own backyard.

Dr. Cole said a new hospital is essential to continue providing the state-of the- art medicine patients deserve.  “Our mission has always been to provide every child who walks through our doors with the most compassionate care and most advanced treatment options in the world. This new hospital will allow us to continue in that mission, but on a much higher level and broader scale.  In terms of children’s health, I believe this will be the most meaningful project of our generation. We are so grateful that SCE&G has stepped up to help make it a reality.” 
Emma Grace’s dad, Thad, works with SCE&G as a journeyman lineman in Mount Pleasant.  Emma Grace is a sweet 7- year-old girl who is full of life.  At age 5, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at MUSC Children’s Hospital. The chorus of Kelly Clarkson’s song Stronger, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” has become her theme song. Last March, as the last strands of Emma Grace’s hair fell out due to the effects of chemotherapy, 17 of Thad’s fellow SCE&G linemen showed their support to for their colleague’s daughter by shaving their heads, to the delight of Emma Grace! 

Jason Wiles was not able to attend the event Friday, but a basket of toys filled with games, books and toys about baseball, his favorite sport, was donated by the SCE&G employees in attendance.  Jason’s dad, Chad, works with SCE&G as a technical specialist in the power delivery department in Charleston.  When Jason was 15 months old, his parents noticed an unusual swelling in his belly.  After a visit to Jason’s pediatrician, they were referred to MUSC Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma (liver cancer).  After surgery to remove the tumor in his liver, which also was wrapped around his heart, Jason was in remission until the cancer returned when he was 4 years old.  He was again treated at MUSC with chemotherapy, which stopped the cancer, but caused liver failure.  In 2011, Jason received a liver transplant at MUSC, which was a success.  Today he is a happy and active 14-year-old high school student who loves everything baseball.  Jason’s family includes dad Chad, mom Melissa, brother Zachary and younger sister Brianna.

“This is a “bricks and mortar” campaign to raise $50 million in private dollars needed to build a 650,000-square-foot facility for future generations,” Bullwinkel said. The university has selected a site for the project on the corner of Calhoun Street and Courtenay Drive, and expects to break ground in 2016 and open the doors to the new hospital in 2019. 

Through the support of various philanthropic efforts and employees who provide support through volunteer efforts and financial resources, SCE&G is committed to making a positive difference in the communities we serve – including efforts to support families and individuals of all ages through educational, environmental, healthcare, arts/culture, and community/civic initiatives across South Carolina.

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 688,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 338,000 customers in 38 counties in the state.


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