STAFFORD TOWNSHIP — The Pediatric Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center will carry NASCAR driver and township native Martin Truex Jr.’s name.

The Pediatric Care Center improvement is part of a $20 million emergency room expansion at the hospital.

An October fundraiser, the Martin Truex Jr. Great Causeway Challenge, will raise money for the center, which includes six patient rooms.

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Chris Rollins, executive director of the Southern Ocean Medical Center Foundation, said that the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation provided one of the earliest gifts for the emergency room expansion campaign.

“The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation has elected to make a multi-year financial commitment of $250,000 over five years to help fund the emergency room expansion and in recognition for that commitment we decided to name the center after Martin Truex Jr.,” Rollins said.

Rollins said the Southern Ocean Medical Center Foundation is in the early stages of soliciting additional support from the public to fund the emergency room expansion.

The multimillion-dollar expansion will triple the size of the emergency room, double patient capacity and add the new pediatric center. The expansion is expected to be completed at the end of 2013. The hospital treats over 40,000 patients each year.

Rollins said the October fundraiser will be the first of many held to help fund the emergency room expansion.

“At the heart of the event is fundraising with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the construction of the new emergency department expansion at Southern Ocean Medical Center. An anonymous donor has paid for all the expenses of the event,” Bleiman said in a news release Wednesday.

The event features a duathlon, starting with a 30-mile bike ride across the Route 72 Causeway Bridge to Ship Bottom, north to Barnegat Light and back, followed by a 10K run. The 10K race is sponsored by the Southern Ocean Medical Center staff, Bleiman said.

There will also be a 5K run, a 5K walk and a children’s 1-mile fun run.

Bleiman said through the event the hospital is also trying to encourage families to exercise on a regular basis. For more information or to register for the event, click here.

Contact Donna Weaver:

609-226-9198

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