MASSENA - Early Friday morning, the phones began ringing off the hook and continued to so all day, Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation officials said.
It was an encouraging sign for the foundations 23rd annual Radiothon, which raised $32,209 for hospital equipment on Friday. Proceeds will help purchase medical equipment for the hospitals Endoscopy Center, a new high-definition colonoscope and gastroscope valued at more than $60,000. The proceeds from this years event were enough to purchase one of the machines.
The radiothon is the foundations largest fundraiser for the hospital each year, Executive Director Julia Rose said.
The generosity of the area businesses and individuals ... has been phenomenonal, Ms. Rose said. For 23 years, weve been able to purchase a piece of life saving equipment.
Bidders phoned in on items such as sports memorabilia, restaurant gift certificates and fragrances. Ms. Rose said a bowl made of Steuben glass, which is no longer produced, was one of the more unique donations this year. Ms. Rose said she was hoping Thursdays rain would have continued into Friday to keep people inside and bidding, but the sunshine and warm temperatures wernt a deterrent.
The phones have continued to ring, she said. Being able to provide state of the art health care is one of the goals of the facility and we support that fully ... We may live in a small town, but that doesnt mean were not worthy of quality health care.
Event organizer Julianne M. Fowler was impressed at the number of donations. Despite the continued sluggish economy, the foundation received over 200 donations for the event, the most in several years.
More and more people are stepping up, she said. Weve had more first-time donors than I can ever remember.
The radiothon wrapped up MMHs annual celebration of National Hospital Week. MMH CEO Charles F. Fahd II praised the foundations efforts. As a municipal entity, MMH cannot turn to the public for donations, and relies on the foundation, a 501c3 organization, to do its fundraising.
We definitely see them as an extension of our hospital, he said.