Despite the current difficult financial situation, a fund-raising evening held by the Friends of the Soroka Medical Center organization succeeded in raising NIS 2.5 million for the Beersheba-based hospital, reports www.local.co.il. The money will go entirely toward the hospital's new maternity and gynecology unit for the purchase of equipment used in delivery rooms, operating theaters and patient wards. According to the report, the single biggest donation of the evening came from the Israel Chemicals group, which donated NIS 600,000. The company is headed by businessman Akiva Mozes, who also heads the Friends of Soroka organization. The employees' councils of other companies based at the Dead Sea and in the Negev also made significant donations, and Mayor Rubik Danilovitch announced that he personally would donate NIS 2,000 and the city of Beersheba would donate NIS 10,000. A hospital spokesman said that more babies were born at Soroka every year than at any other hospital in Israel, and its maternity unit was a leader in academic research and in the professionalism and dedication of its staff, but the physical conditions there were "not easy." The spokesman said the donations would enable the hospital to give the women of the Negev the best possible medical service.