St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation received a $1 million donation over the holidays that is expected to improve health programs and services in the valley.

Julia and George Argyros announced their gift during a year-end luncheon on Dec. 19.

“George and Julia’s continued generosity and commitment to others is the true magic of Christmas,” St. Luke’s Health System Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Roth said. “Julia surprised all of us with a gorgeous red package. Much to my surprise, I unwrapped a $1 million gift that will go a long way to improve health in the Wood River Valley.”

Previous funds donated by the Argyroses went toward establishment of the Emergency Services Endowment in the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, which allows the hospital to offer state-of-the-art emergency medicine, and the initial major gift to the New Hospital Campaign about 20 years ago.

“George and I care deeply about this community. It brings us joy to give back, especially during this season of giving,” Julia Argyros said at the luncheon as she donned a Santa hat.

The couple has a 50-year history in the Sun Valley area, arriving on a 19-hour train ride from Los Angeles and falling in love quickly with the landscape and people.

“We are inspired by Julia and George’s commitment to our community,” said Megan Tanous, chief development officer of the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation. “We are incredibly moved by their generosity this holiday season. This gift will change lives.”

St. Luke’s Wood River was built largely through philanthropy, and works to offer a level of health and care that far exceeds that typically found in a small rural community, the hospital stated in a news release.

“The hospital and foundation are truly grateful to George and Julia for exemplifying the true spirit of generosity and demonstrating a genuine commitment to the health of our entire community,” said Carmen Jacobsen, St. Luke’s Wood River chief operating officer and chief nursing officer.

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