Sullivan County Democrat
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Dan Hust | Democrat

WSUL/WVOS General Manager Helena Manzione, right, greets David and Shirley Kaufman, longtime supporters of the Heart-A-Thon. Howard Braunstein of M&M Ford and Jacquie Leventoff of Kohl’s Distribution Center were the co-chairs of the event, which raised over $55,000.

Heart-a-Thon’s legacy includes more than money

By Dan Hust
HARRIS — March 2, 2010 — It was Friday the 13th, December 2002.
Gloria Cahalan felt a little heartburn, nothing more.
But it wouldn’t go away, and the RN knew enough to head to the emergency room at Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC).
There, the Monticello resident found out she was in the midst of a heart attack. The then-50-year-old also found out she was diabetic.
She flatlined four times, but thanks to a hospital that for 32 years has been the beneficiary of WSUL/WVOS’ annual Heart-a-Thon, Cahalan was able to get the care she needed to survive.
Today, she no longer drinks or smokes, and she’s dropped 75 pounds thanks to the local Curves.
“I realized there were more important things in life,” she recalled.
Like educating others about the dangers of heart disease – and the warning signs of a heart attack, which she said can be very different for women than men.
Thus the Sullivan County BOCES nursing teacher spent some of her Saturday inside CRMC’s food court in Harris, lending her wisdom to the airwaves during the 2010 Heart-a-Thon.
The dozens of volunteers like herself found it a day of pride, purpose and memories.
“I was one of the original nurses who took blood pressures at the first Heart-a-Thon,” Cahalan recalled. “Yes, I’m a true believer!”
So are fellow Monticello residents David and Shirley Kaufman, who were welcomed with open arms on Saturday by WSUL/WVOS General Manager Helena Manzione.
“David has been involved for 32 years,” Manzione said. “His generosity is overwhelming.”
In honor of the Kaufmans’ unceasing fundraising and volunteerism, the radio station crew and volunteers unveiled a street sign – David Kaufman Drive – which will initially be hung in CRMC’s lobby before finding a permanent home elsewhere.
“I’m not usually at a loss for words, but I am now,” Kaufman said as he observed the sign. “... That is so wonderful.”
The Kaufmans, of course, brought more money with them on Saturday, funds which will be used by CRMC and the American Heart Association (AHA) to save Sullivan County lives.
Fitting, as David Kaufman served as president of both the county and regional chapters of the AHA, including being honored as its regional Volunteer of the Year.
“We’re just pleased to be here,” Kaufman remarked. “We’ve been involved since day one.”
And on Saturday, their legacy was carried on by hundreds of WVOS and WSUL listeners, who combined their efforts to raise $55,354 – nearly $10,000 more than last year, despite the tough times.
“I just want to thank everyone who’s given their time, energy and support,” said Manzione.

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