Jeanne Sager | Democrat
WSUL/WVOS MANAGER Helena Manzione holds the microphone for CRMC Board President Gerry Skoda.
In a recession, giving from the heart
By Jeanne Sager
HARRIS It was more than they ever expected.
In the midst of a recession, the 31st WSUL/WVOS Heart-a-thon pulled in more than $46,000 on Saturday to benefit the Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) cardiology department.
“Everybody stepped up to the plate,” a still excited Helena Manzione of WSUL/WVOS said Monday.
“With everyone talking about the economic downturn and people aren’t going to be as generous and are you sure you still want to do this, we weren’t sure what we’d get,” the station manager said. “We were relieved.”
For 31 years, the station has been beating the bushes for pledges to benefit cardiac causes. In more recent years, the funding collected from the station’s coverage area has been sent straight to the hospital.
Standing in the center of the hospital’s cafeteria, in the heart of the action, CRMC Board Chair Gerry Skoda said it’s incredible to have a fundraiser that sends 100 percent of its funds to one cause.
“In fundraising today, that’s so important,” he noted. “Sometimes it costs so much to do a fundraiser that the intended group doesn’t get very much.”
But with 100 percent of $46,298 going straight to CRMC, the hospital is on its way to purchasing telemetry equipment for the cardiac unit.
A system that uses new technologies to monitor a patient’s vital signs remotely, the equipment the hospital has its eyes on costs around $165,000. It will be a multi-year project, according to CEO Steve Ruwoldt.
Donations are still being accepted as the station winds down from the all-day Saturday broadcast and collects the money raised at local business who sold paper hearts in exchange for donations.
“We have so many good people who help,” Manzione said. “It’s an institution here; I can’t imagine not doing the heart-a-thon.”