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Greenville entrepreneur Vivian Wong teams with Cérélia Group to donate $100,000 to Prisma Health Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Greenville entrepreneur Vivian Wong and French-based Cérélia Group teamed up on Tuesday to donate $100,000 to Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in the Upstate to support pediatric cancer programs.

The gift comes at the start of September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

For Vivian Wong, mother of four children, grandmother of eight and long-time community leader, the gift was a way to give back to the community that had welcomed her more than 50 years ago.

 “It’s always important to me to give back – but especially when I have an opportunity to help children and families affected by cancer,” said Wong. “I know what a difference quick treatment and support can make for families. I also know that Greenville is the best place to live as far as I’m concerned. I just want to help it be even better and help Prisma Health continue providing outstanding care to its patients, especially in these current times.”

“Vivian Wong is an exceptional businesswoman, entrepreneur and community steward admired in Greenville and around the world,” said Mark O’Halla, president and CEO of Prisma Health. “She’s an inspiration to me and my family, and we continue to be uplifted by her indomitable, kind spirit. We are very touched by this important gift to our pediatric patients and their families.”

Added Robin LaCroix, MD, medical director of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Greenville, “We are so appreciative for the commitment that the Wong family has to the children and families of the Upstate. This gift will allow us to care in special ways for those families in the journey to battle their child’s cancer.” Through the work of its BI-LO Charities Children’s Cancer Center in the Upstate, patients and families are able to get leading-edge medical and psychosocial support for cancer and blood disorders while staying close to family, friends and community-support networks.

Wong, with her husband Thomas Wong, built a family business that began with the Dragon Den chain of restaurants and grew to include real estate development, banking and international business ventures. She’s become an entrepreneur, community luminary and philanthropist.

The donation is split between her own gift of $50,000 and a matching gift of $50,000 from Cérélia Group, which recently purchased US Waffle company from a shareholder base in which Wong was a managing partner.  

“I’m particularly proud to partner with Cérélia Group on this joint donation and want the Upstate to know more about this great new corporate citizen,” said Wong.

Cérélia is a leading manufacturer of fresh, ready-to-bake dough solutions for pie and pizza, as well as ready-to-heat pancakes, crepes, cookies and cookie dough. US Waffle, which specializes in the production of premium pancakes and waffles, is expected to help build Cérélia into one of North America’s fastest growing bakery businesses. The Paris, France-based Cérélia has manufacturing plants throughout the world and is focusing tremendous capital investments in the Upstate of S.C. to grow their business. 

“We’re thrilled to be part of this community and want to help support it,” said Cérélia Group co-CEO Walter Kluit. “Cérélia is looking forward to expanding their presence in the United States and appreciates the warm welcome they have received from South Carolina.” Both he and co-CEO Guillaume Réveilhac attended Tuesday’s announcement.

Parents Ian and Mary Ellen Bradley, who are friends of the Wong family and attended the event, know firsthand how important pediatric cancer treatment can be. In September 2010, their three-year-old son Elliott was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an extremely aggressive cancer, and received months of intense chemotherapy treatment. Now 14 and taller than his father, he is cancer free and is considering majoring in architecture in college. “We’re extremely grateful to Prisma Health Children’s Hospital for its extraordinary care of our son and hope this donation sparked by Vivian Wong will help prompt additional pediatric cancer support that may help other families in need,” said Ian Bradley. “That initial diagnosis was one of the worst days of our lives, but we were able to come through it with support from our care teams, friends and community.”

About Prisma Health

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 acute care and specialty hospitals, 2,947 beds, approximately 300 outpatient sites, and nearly 5,000 employed and clinically integrated network physicians and providers, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.

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