Thanks to the generosity of Claude C. Laval III, more patients at Valley Children’s Hospital, as well as their families, will get help for non-medical expenses.
Laval has donated $1 million to the patient assistance fund, which has helped about 1,100 families since 2012.
“Previously, there have been only limited funds to support these emergencies, and we hope these funds begin to change that. Our gift has been structured in such a way that it will match funds donated by others, hopefully allowing the Angel Fund to grow and make a significant impact on children’s health and well-being.” — Claude C. Laval III
Five Decades of Support
The Fresno businessman and philanthropist and his late wife, Betty Lou, have long supported Valley Children’s. They previously made donations in endocrinology, capital projects, and healing arts.
Coinciding with the donation, the assistance fund has a new name. Going forward, it is the “Claude and Betty Lou Laval Angel Fund.”
“Valley Children’s Hospital is an incredible asset to our region, which we have long supported,” Laval said in a news release. “Because the hospital serves children from different circumstances, over such a wide area, oftentimes, both the patient and their parents have unmet and unexpected needs.
“Previously, there have been only limited funds to support these emergencies, and we hope these funds begin to change that. Our gift has been structured in such a way that it will match funds donated by others, hopefully allowing the Angel Fund to grow and make a significant impact on children’s health and well-being.”
“Mr. Laval and his family have helped chart Valley Children’s course for five decades through their leadership and generous philanthropy.” — Todd Suntrapak, president/CEO, Valley Children’s Healthcare
Fund Helps With Rent, Car Repairs for Families
The fund is for expenses like rent for families who take extended absences from employment to manage their child’s care, or car repairs to travel to and from the hospital, Valley Children’s said.
“Mr. Laval and his family have helped chart Valley Children’s course for five decades through their leadership and generous philanthropy,” said hospital president and CEO Todd Suntrapak.
“Betty Lou served on the Board of Trustees during the 1970s and 1980s, and their daughter, Mendy Laval Alkotob, has served as a Trustee since 2000. Betty Lou was also a longtime member of the La Feliz Guild, which raises awareness and funds for Valley Children’s. Her daughter later joined, as well.”
Laval Is ‘Serial Entrepreneur’
Laval was born and raised in Fresno and graduated from Fresno High School (1953) and Stanford University (1957). He returned to Fresno and married Betty Lou Scarbrough, whom he met in kindergarten. Betty Lou’ died in 2014. Mr. Laval has two grown daughters and three grandchildren.
As a “serial entrepreneur,” his career has consisted of such diverse fields as teaching machines, borehole inspection devices, public works and pipelining, educational audiovisual products, water treatment, and LAKOS liquid filtration equipment.
In 2013, he sold LAKOS to a New York Stock Exchange company. In 2018, Mr. Laval and his daughter established a 13,000-foot co-working space called “The Launchpad.” It primarily houses 22 startups, providing small offices and workstations, as well as mentoring and business assistance. Through an affiliate, Laval Partners LLC, he continues to invest in start-up businesses.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recognized Laval as its Export Executive of the Year in 1984. He also has received the Leon S. Peters Award (1988), the Excellence in Business Award (1997), the Gold Star Alumnus Award from Fresno Unified School District (2002), the Fresno State Service Award (2004), and the San Joaquin Valley Outstanding Philanthropist Award (2017).