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Massena hospital, foundation dedicate courtyard sundial to former board member

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MASSENA — Those who knew the late Madelyn H. Pruski say she would have done anything to help Massena Memorial Hospital.

On Thursday afternoon, officials from Massena Memorial Hospital and its foundation gathered with Ms. Pruski’s family members to return the favor, dedicating a sundial in Ms. Pruski’s honor in the GEMMS courtyard.

Ms. Pruski passed away May 23, 2011, but prior to her death, she had been very active with the Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation as one of its longest serving board members, according to foundation Executive Director Julia R. Rose.

“Madelyn served on the foundation board, as close as we can figure, 24 years. She was at almost every telethon we had until she could no longer come,” Ms. Rose said.

“She was an amazing lady and a lot of fun to be around,” she added.

Because of the contributions Ms. Pruski made to the hospital and the foundation, Ms. Rose said they “wanted to do something that everyone could enjoy in the sun because she loved the sun.”

That led to the dedication of the sundial in the courtyard.

“It’s a beautiful place. A lot of staff eat lunch here. We thought it seemed like a nice addition to the courtyard,” Ms. Rose said.

Mac Shoen, a member of the foundation’s board, said the honor for Ms. Pruski was well deserved.

“She was really dedicated to the hospital. She was a great lady. As Julia said, she was always at all the functions. She’s the one who got me taking pictures,” he said, referring to Ms. Pruski’s job as the public information officer at the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. She also had been employed as a receptionist with Dr. Ralph Samets and at one time worked in the business office at Massena Memorial Hospital.

“She had nothing but good things to say about the foundation,” Mr. Shoen said. “She said we need a good hospital and we need to raise money. It was very important to her to make money.”

“She was a very kind lady. She gave of herself and gave of her time and always had something positive to say. She wanted us to have the best hospital possible. She was very dedicated,” Massena Memorial Hospital CEO Charles F. Fahd II said.

Kathy Robinson, Ms. Pruski’s daughter was among those on hand for the dedication with her husband, Matthew.

“This is just amazing. We can’t thank you enough,” she said.

She recalled her mother in the same way as those who had worked with her over the years.

“She was great at getting the job done. If she couldn’t do it, she would find someone who could,” she said.

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