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Volunteers’ Dedication Propels Emanuel’s Annual Giving Campaign

Turlock, CA- Paced by volunteers who have been with Emanuel Medical Center's annual giving campaign since it began 10 years ago, this year's fundraising effort to support advanced cardiac services at the hospital is breaking records.

In week two of the six-week campaign known as Legacy Circle, community volunteers raised $85,300 and employees raised $46,300. Those contributions bring the total raised so far to $422,000 of the $1 million goal - $64,700 ahead of last year.

"People want to give to something that makes a difference, and Legacy Circle makes a difference," said Shirley Pok, Emanuel's vice president of development. "You can see what Legacy Circle volunteers and donors have accomplished in the Mary Stuart Rogers Birthing Center, the new Emergency Department and the Bill and Elsie Alhem Cancer Endowment."

Christopher Freeberg was on the original fund leadership team10 years ago. He and his wife Sandra continue as volunteers today.

"Sandra and I have been so blessed by being a part of the Hilmar community since 1979 - and between Hilmar and Turlock communities, I have never witnessed such outreach by so many families to everyone in the surrounding townships," said Freeberg, an agent at Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency. "This is why we stay involved, because people here truly give of their time and financial support."

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.

Freeberg said the people he talks to in the community know about Emanuel's plans to bring advanced cardiac care to the community and support that effort. 

"Honestly, I find most of the people have read Emanuel's HeartBeat newsletter and are well-versed in what the hospital is trying to accomplish," he said. "I just help them become personally involved in participating in a community-wide benefit."

Emanuel is bringing advanced cardiac care to the community in stages. It began with the Cardiac Cath & Interventional Lab that opened in April, and will expand with an upgraded cardiac operating room so open-heart surgery can begin next spring. In late 2012, two state-of-the-art cardiac operating suites will open, and the final vision for the project is to develop a dedicated space consolidating all of Emanuel's cardiovascular services.

"To be so far toward our goal already, especially given the economic challenges our area continues to face, is truly a blessing," said John Sigsbury, Emanuel's president and CEO. "People recognize the need to have these lifesaving services locally and that's why our annual fund drive volunteers come from so many walks of life; not just nurses and doctors, but dairy owners, almond growers, graphic designers, insurance agents, bankers, city workers, electricians and many others." 
Legacy Circle support is a vital part of Emanuel's cardiac care expansion, with the goal of raising $1 million a year for five years. And while that may sound like a long time, there are 45 active Legacy Circle volunteers, like the Freebergs, who have already volunteered twice that long to help the hospital bring new services and technology to the Turlock area.

Ten-year community volunteers are Gary and Cecelia Almeida, David and Nancy Boulos, Jack Doo, Bob and Terri Field, Dan and Carol Finn, Christopher and Sandra Freeberg, Judi Honore, Kyle and Nicole Kirkes, Mark and Dana Kirkes, Roger and Delores Kirkes, Kirk and Jennifer Larson, George and Zella Linn, Jerry Martin, Jami McMullen, Darice Nishihara, Dave Pok, Susan Quigley, Lani Smith, Alan and Diane Tate, and Henry and Marie teVelde.

Ten-year employee volunteers are Becky Bailey, Peg Bickford, Margie Catone, Susie Fortich, Ken Gomes, Jane Hacker, Toni Jardine, Bernadette Khanania, Terrie King, Debbie Martin, Dick & Harriet Martinson, Caroline Mitchell, Pam Parker, Lyn Villarente, and Ruth Villarreal

To donate to Legacy Circle, call 209-664-5180 or visit

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.


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825 Delbon Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-4200
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