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Wed., Apr. 1
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Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation’s radiothon raises $32,000

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MASSENA — The phones began ringing off the hook early Friday and continued to do so all day, Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation officials said.

It was an encouraging sign for the foundation’s 23rd annual Radiothon, which raised $32,209 for hospital equipment Friday. Proceeds will help purchase medical equipment for the hospital’s Endoscopy Center, a new high-definition colonoscope and gastroscope valued at more than $60,000. The proceeds from this year’s event were enough to purchase one of the machines.

The radiothon is the foundation’s largest fundraiser each year, Executive Director Julia R. Rose said.

“The generosity of the area businesses and individuals ... has been phenomenal,” Ms. Rose said. “For 23 years, we’ve 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 unusual donations this year. Ms. Rose said she was hoping Thursday’s rain would have continued into Friday to keep people inside and bidding, but the sunshine and warm temperatures weren’t 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 doesn’t mean we’re 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 more than 200 donations for the event, the most in several years.

“More and more people are stepping up,” she said. “We’ve had more first-time donors than I can ever remember.”

The radiothon wrapped up Massena Memorial’s annual celebration of National Hospital Week. Hospital CEO Charles F. Fahd II praised the foundation’s efforts. As a municipal entity, the hospital cannot turn to the public for donations and relies on the foundation, a 501c3 organization, to do its fundraising.

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