Turlock, CA- To support expanded cardiac services at Emanuel Medical Center, Turlock residents opened their hearts and their checkbooks last week, raising nearly $291,000 in the first week of the hospital's annual giving campaign.
That total is $20,000 more than any previous opening week in the 10 years the hospital has held its annual giving campaign, called Legacy Circle of Emanuel.
"The gift giving shows the passion and the commitment our community and employees have for Emanuel Medical Center," said Shirley Pok, Emanuel's vice president of development. "We are so blessed. With this incredible opening week, we saw an outpouring of heartfelt giving."
The goal of this year's six-week Legacy Circle campaign is to raise $1 million to expand advanced cardiac services at Emanuel. To help the community and employee volunteers raise that amount, Turlock's Jeani and John Ferrari have pledged to donate $500,000 when donations reach the $1 million mark.
Bill Gibbs, the community fund drive chair, said people in the area recognize the importance of bringing new lifesaving heart care to Turlock.
"With community support, these services will save lives," he said. "When someone is brought to Emanuel with chest pain, there will be no more transferring them out of town. We will have immediate care, right here in Turlock."
Emanuel is building its cardiovascular program in stages, first with the Cardiac Cath & Interventional Lab that opened in April, then with an upgraded cardiac operating room so open-heart surgery can begin next spring, then building two state-of-the-art cardiac operating suites to open in late 2012. The final vision for the project is to develop a dedicated space to consolidate all of Emanuel's cardiovascular services.
Legacy Circle support is a big part of that plan, with the goal of raising $1 million a year for five years. When the week-one pledges were totaled Thursday night, community volunteers had raised $189,304 and employees had raised $101,216 - much of that in contributions that will be deducted from future paychecks.
"I think that says so much about the wonderful people who work here and their commitment to providing top-quality health care for everyone in our community," said Terrie King, a 29-year Emanuel employee and chair of the employee fund drive. "Where else do you see employees donating money back to support something their employer is doing?"
Donations and pledges came from longtime supporters as well as those new to Legacy Circle.
Turlock's George and Zella Linn, Legacy Circle's most mature volunteers at 85 and 86 respectively, turned in their renewal pledges Thursday night, too. "I love this hospital," Zella Linn said. "I worked here for 20 years, volunteered in the Auxiliary, and I love the excitement of Legacy Circle."
Rookie fund drive volunteer Kim Kruthoff, a Hilmar High graduate who now lives in Turlock, brought in $8,550 in pledges Thursday. "This is a really good cause," she said. "We need these services in Turlock. I feel that personally because when my grandma needed open-heart surgery she had to be taken to Modesto."
The annual fund drive to advance cardiovascular services in Turlock continues for just four more weeks. To donate to Legacy Circle, phone 209-664-5180 or visit www.emanuelmedicalcenter.org/give
Emanuel Medical Center is a not-for-profit, community-based Christian hospital. Its 415-bed multi-level medical campus includes a 209-bed acute care hospital, a 145-bed skilled nursing facility and a 49-bed assisted living facility. It provides emergency, critical care, pediatric, cardiology, cancer diagnosis and treatment, women's health services, surgery, and hospice services.