Huge Donation For Heart Institute

The East Carolina Heart Institute at Pitt County Memorial Hospital received a major gift Wednesday, to the tune of seven figures.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, hospital officials announced that Eddie and Jo Allison Smith, owners of Grady White Boats in Greenville, gave $1.3 million dollars to the East Carolina Heart Institute.

That grant will be matched by $667,000 from the University of North Carolina system.

Combined, the funds will create the $2 million dollar Eddie and Jo Allison Smith endowed chair to support the director of the heart institute.

Smith says this gift shows his love for the community of Eastern Carolina.

The East Carolina Heart Institute will consist of two buildings, totaling over $200 million dollars.

Construction is scheduled for completion sometime in 2008.