Beebe Medical Foundation announces endowment

April 25, 2019

Bob Schnepfe of Rehoboth Beach, co-founder of Beebe’s Celebrate Excellent Care program, recently made a gift to create an endowment for the support of Beebe Medical Foundation’s work, in honor of Foundation President and CEO Judy Aliquo. Funds from this endowment will help the foundation carry out its mission to support Beebe Healthcare through its fundraising efforts.

Aliquo began as president of Beebe Medical Foundation in September 2013. Signature programs the foundation has instituted under her leadership include the 1916 Club, Loyalty Society, and Celebrate Excellent Care program. In addition, the I Believe in Beebe Campaign began in January 2016 and has raised over $30 million to date. The largest campaign in Beebe’s previous history was Vision 2005, which raised $12.5 million. 

The 1916 Club, made up of donors to the Beebe Annual Fund who give at a leadership level, has grown from 32 to more than 250 members. Club members proudly celebrate the year Beebe was founded by donating $1,916 or more annually to support Beebe. The Loyalty Society recognizes donors who have contributed to Beebe for three or more consecutive years and is 750 members strong.

Most rewarding is the foundation’s Celebrate Excellent Care program, which Schnepfe was instrumental in starting in 2013. This program offers grateful patients the opportunity to say thank you to their Beebe Heroes: extraordinary physicians, nurses, and team members. Through this program, more than 700 team members have been honored for providing excellent care.

When Aliquo began working at the foundation in 2013, Schnepfe had already experienced 10 surgical operations at Beebe, five of which were performed by oncology surgeon Dr. James Spellman. Schnepfe decided to express his gratitude by making a donation to support the purchase of new equipment for Spellman’s work.

Schnepfe and his companion, the late Barbara Dougherty, met for lunch with Beebe leadership to talk about this gift, and that was when he first met Aliquo. Soon after, she and Tom Protack, Beebe Medical Foundation vice president of development, attended the International Healthcare Philanthropy Conference in California and heard about hospitals with grateful patient fundraising programs. They brought this idea home to Beebe and the Celebrate Excellent Care program was born, named by then-development associate Vincent McDowell.

Schnepfe and Dougherty were friends with Trish Vernon, editor and co-owner of the Cape Gazette. At a dinner at her house, they asked if she could donate space in the paper for the submission of an article about Celebrate Excellent Care, and she offered to do so on a weekly basis – every Tuesday.

Over the past six years, Schnepfe has continued to support Beebe in many wonderful ways. He created a planned gift through a bequest in his will. He has donated many valuable pieces of art to be auctioned at the Beebe Bash and Beebe Ball. He and his brother, Dennis Schnepfe, even donated a boat, with the sales proceeds benefiting Beebe. Most recently, he donated his collection of lighthouse paintings which are now hanging in the Radiology Waiting Area in Beebe’s Outpatient Services building at the Rehoboth Beach Health Campus. Several years ago, Bob published a booklet titled Sussex County Delaware Lighthouses, which features his paintings of all 10 Sussex County lighthouses and includes descriptions and the history of each one. He donated many of these books to the foundation for their sale and benefit.

When asked what motivates him to continue to support Beebe Healthcare, Schnepfe said, “I am very grateful for the care I receive at Beebe and that I am able to continue to lead an active life. I have now had 14 surgeries and procedures at Beebe. It is my pleasure to give back to a hospital that has given so much to me.”

“Every day we are inspired by the generosity of community members like Bob, who support Beebe Healthcare, our local not-for-profit healthcare system. We are often told that Beebe is the best healthcare system in Sussex County. We always provide excellent care with our signature of extraordinary compassion for both the patient and the patient’s loved ones,” said Aliquo.

As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts to Beebe Healthcare, large or small, are tax-deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Named endowments can be created with a gift of $25,000 or more. Please consider making a gift today and sharing your story with our community. To make your donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go to, call 302-644-2900 or email


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