Fathers and mothers at Supercell donate 3.4M to new children's hospital

Lasse Louhento (right) pictured with Anne Berner, the chair of the advocacy association.

Helsinki's old children's hospitals have for years been in a dilapidated state.

EMPLOYEES of Finnish game studio Supercell have donated 3.4 million euro for the construction of a new children's hospital in Helsinki, Lasse Louhento, the product lead at Supercell, announced on Tuesday. The donation is the largest single donation raised by the association advocating the construction project.

The 1.5 million euro donated by the Wihuri Foundation in October was previously the largest donation. The objective of the association is to raise a total of 30 million euro in private donations for the construction project.

“The cause concerns us all. Many of our employees are mothers and fathers,” Louhento says.

This year, the founders and employees of Supercell have brought in over half a billion euro as investors have acquired shares in the gaming sensation. The larger transaction was carried out in October, when Japan's telecommunications giant SoftBank in conjuncture with its gaming subsidiary GungHo acquired a 51 per cent stake in Supercell for 1.1 billion euro.

New children's hospital scheduled for completion in 2017
- Built in 1946 and 1948 respectively, the Children's Hospital and the Children's Castle have been in a dilapidated state for years. 
- On Tuesday, Helsingin Sanomat reported that no temporary space for the children's emergency ward has been found due to the humidity and air quality problems of the Children's Hospital. 
- An association has been founded to raise private donations for the construction of a new children's hospital in Meilahti, Helsinki, which is to be completed in 2017.

The Finnish company then estimated that a total of 260 million euro will consequently be paid to Finnish tax authorities.

Supercell has refrained from specifying the exact contributions of its employees but has revealed that the majority of its employees did pitch in. According to Louhento, the individual donations have not even been discussed within the company. He nevertheless reveals that also staff members from Supercell's offices in San Francisco, Tokyo and Seoul pitched in.

“This is not a challenge to other companies,” Louhento stressed. “Naturally, this may encourage others to participate.”

The member municipalities of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and the state have both pledged to contribute a quarter of the 160 million euro required for the construction of the new hospital. The remaining half will be provided by the the association in donations and loans.

“The fund-raising has went surprisingly well. Our target for the year was six million,” says Anne Berner, the chair of the advocacy association.

Elsewhere, the fund-raising has also kindled a discussion on why private donations are needed in addition to the tax-payers' money. Louhento, however, sees the appeal of the novel project. “You don't hide behind the Government's back and wait for it to come.”

Juhani Saarinen – Helsingin Sanomat
Aleksi Teivainen – Helsinki Times
© Helsingin Sanomat
PHOTO: HEIDI PIIROINEN HS

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